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GALA Conference 2013: Serious Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion

Author: James Stewart
Published Date: 29 October 2013

Last week the Games and Learning Alliance conference (GALA 2013), the international conference dedicated to the science and application of serious games, took place in Paris. The conference brought together researchers, developers, practitioners and stakeholders to share state of the art research, analysing the most significant trends and discussing visions of the future of serious games. 


There is a wide consensus in the scientific community about the educational potential of Serious Games. And serious games are being used in professional and corporate contexts to teach skills and new competences, which is particularly important in a lifelong learning perspective, to engage and train workforces, to discover and develop leaders, and to support the sharing of knowledge and experience. Serious games are also promising in fields such as healthcare and personal development.


Serious games are very well suited to motivate learners and, exploiting the latest simulation and visualization technologies, are able to contextualize the player’s experience in stimulating and realistic environments. Furthermore, a large and growing population is increasingly familiar with playing games, which makes them particularly suited as a powerful instructional tool.


The Serious Games Society is building a scientific community at international level for shaping future research in the field. This community represents a significant blend of industrial and academic professionals committed to the study, development and deployment of serious games as useful and effective tools to support better teaching, learning, training and assessment.


James Stewart delivered the event’s keynote presentation at the GALA conference entitled ‘Serious Games (SGs) for Empowerment and Social Inclusion’. James is a researcher who specialises in digital innovation for social issues. He currently works as a Scientific Officer at Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/) in Seville, Spain, providing policy support for the European Commission. His most recent publication, ‘The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy’, looks to better understand how this media form is being applied to issues of concern for social inclusion policy and inform future policy options.


The full presentation on ‘Serious Games (SGs) for Empowerment and Social Inclusion’ by James Stewart is available via the JRC website by following this link. 


To learn more about Serious Games for social innovation, read SIE’s lastest interview with James Stewart.


For further information on the GALA conference, please visit their website.