MEA @ ECA 2021

The MEA continues in its relationship as an affiliate organization with the ECA. 2021’s ECA conference, Resilience, was held virtually on March 24–28. The MEA sponsored two sessions. One was a Competitive Papers session and the other a Panel.

Competitive Papers

Perspectives on Media Ecology: Community, Meaning, and the Pandemic

Chair: Jeffrey S Bogaczyk, Duquesne University


  • “Inspiring Consensus in Community: The Faith and Hope in Proximate Speech,” Joel Scott Ward, Geneva College
  • “Loose Drugs and the Collision of Hot and Cool Media Characteristics During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Erik Gustafson, North Dakota State University
  • “The End of Education and the Modern Pandemic: Reections on Digital Pedagogy and Meaning-Making,” Mark Jedrzejczyk, Carthage College

The papers in this session address media ecological perspectives relative to unique contexts within the modern technological world. From addressing mediated education and drug use in the midst of a pandemic to the problem of community in an era of modern communication technologies, these scholars examine the interesting relationships of media to human experience.

Panel Presentation

Virtual Games as Communal Media: Cultivating Resilient Communities Through Distanced Play

Chair & Respondent: Erik Garrett
, Duquesne University

  • “COVID & Dragons: The New Dungeons & Dragons Outbreak in Virtual Spaces,” Christopher Stuart, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • “Islands in the Stream: Understanding Animal Crossing as Virtual Commonplace,” Kati E. Sudnick, University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • “Sports & Video Games: The Importance of Maintaining Community Ties Through Play,” Abbey McCann, Duquesne University
  • “Tabletop roleplaying in a digital age: A eld approach,” Austin D Hestdalen, Duquesne University

Focusing on the ecologies of gaming situated within digital media, this panel provides strong foundations for considering the systematic and rules-based operations of online and tabletop gaming as environments running counter to the ecologies of digital media, exploring new possibilities for uniting forms of communication within and beyond digital formats. This provides freedom to explore and pragmatically operate within tensions of virtual and actual, digital and analog, and individual and collective practices of communication.

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