The Leuphana Gamification Lab hosted a workshop with international experts for gamification to investigate strategies and research programmes on games for change. The group of researchers that is also part of an international consortium applying for a European grant on games and gamification issues, discussed problems related to the empowerment of young European citizens via gamification technologies, social wellbeing, persuasiveness of games, methodological questions and philosophical questions related to content-gameplay-action relationships. The analysis of the problem at stake has been summarized like this:
“Today an increasing number of adults and younger children have problems in understanding how the complex ecological, economical and social relations that effect their daily lifes work and how they can be altered. As a consequence of this a growing sector of society turns apolitical and is unwilling to fight for change. From active citizens they turn into inactive consumers. Active engagement, conscious choice and interaction with a peer group is often restricted to virtual worlds and games.
Current Games for Change applications (cf. G4C festival, gamesforchange.org) address to some extend important topics such as political transparency, citizen involvement, local, national and North American decision making, but there is no software available to provide with a distribution platform and a game development kit that would enable individual students or small and medium sized European organisations to build, test and distribute Games for Change at an affordable price.”
A follow-up event co-organized with the AHRC-funded “Play for Change” network and Scott Gaule (MMU, Manchester) will take place on 12th June 2014 in Lüneburg.