Gaming for democracy in the context of contemporary
forms of extremism
The large majority of European youth play video games. Extremist actors have already begun to use this to their advantage, including by producing games of their own. Gamification and games of various types have been recently also included in the work with youth. Yet, with regard to the use and impact of games, prevention is still at a disadvantage, especially considering the degree of entertainment that these products are able to offer.
The project GameD breaks new ground by conceptualizing, testing and offering training on a serious game that not only fulfills educational purposes, but also offers real playing experience. We do this by: including elements like constraints, goals and rewards, which keep the player interested; not having a predetermined script but facilitating story development while playing; and by having young people co-create the game.
The project aims to develop, test and roll out an innovative game focused on democratic citizenship in the face of extremist and polarizing efforts.
Its specific objectives are to:
Enable youth to recognize and counteract extremist and populist narratives
Enable youth to co-create a game
Increase knowledge and skills to deal with different cultures and backgrounds
Develop common visions of togetherness in the context of globalization and diversity
Empower youth with regard to their political and social participation based on a healthy understanding of democracy, critical thinking and media literacy and recognizing new avenues for civic engagement outside radicalism and extremism
Provide innovative tools for youth work and thus increase the reach and impact of youth work
Train youth workers in online and offline practices related to gaming in the context of promoting tolerance and being on top of digital transformations
The concept of this project combines practice, research and policy to develop an evidence-based, innovative digital product that is attractive to youth education. It connects research on extremism and gamification, current trends among youth in relation to the digital world, and the experience of youth workers in one package: a video game. Our products can be directly integrated in the regular work and pedagogical framework of participating youth organisations as they are freely available and contain concrete indications of how they can be used. The project is expected to achieve a long-lasting, sustainable impact on European youth and youth workers including stakeholders to improve their situation and further stimulate involvement through the interactive development, training
and transfer and dissemination of an innovative serious game, including handbooks and lessons learned.