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The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy

  • Authors: James Stewart, Lizzy Bleumers, Jan Van Looy, Ilse MariĆ«n, Anissa All, Dana Schurmans, Koen Willaert, Frederik De Grove, An Jacobs, Gianluca Misuraca
    Editor: Clara Centeno
  • EUR Number: 25900 EN
  • Publication date: 9/2013

Abstract

This report addresses the potential of digital games to support social inclusion and empowerment (DGEI). It is based on a range of theoretical and empirical data, brought together for the first time in this and associated reports. The aim of the report, commissioned by DG CNECT, is to provide a better understanding of the industrial, market, social opportunities and limitations of digital games for empowerment and as a tool for socio-economic inclusion of people at risk of exclusion (such as youth at risk, migrants, elderly people, the unemployed, and the low-educated). A review of the literature, 12 original short case studies, workshops, and contributions from experts and stakeholders were used to identify both opportunities and challenges for deployment of digital games and gaming in fields such as wellness and aging, education and employability of poor learners, improved quality of training and skill development in industry, and civic participation. It concludes that there is sufficient evidence and activity to foresee positive impacts in terms of social inclusion, public service improvement, and employment and growth, but significant activity is still required in research, innovation, and especially in practice, before clear conclusions on large scale impact could be drawn. The report finishes by suggesting a range of actions related to the video game and 'serious game and gamification'' industry, research, skills, and application sectors that could be taken by stakeholders and policy makers in order to exploit the opportunities of DGEI.

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