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The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion

Author: SIE
Published Date: 14 October 2013

The latest Joint Research Centre (JRC) Scientific and Policy report, ‘The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy’, analyses how digital games are being applied to issues of concern for social inclusion policy with a view to informing future policy options.


In Europe today, an estimated 110 million people are at risk of social exclusion. This presents society, entrepreneurs and policy makers with a challenge that calls for social innovation of all types to tackle unemployment, low skills, discrimination, barriers to disabled people, poor health and other factors associated with social exclusion and poverty.


Previous research has demonstrated how ‘conventional’ technologies such as the PC and internet applications can support socio-economic inclusion processes for populations at risk of exclusion such as migrants, youth at risk, and the elderly and their carers. In recent years there has been a growth of research and commercial activity in the use of digital games for non-leisure activities. The promise of gamification as a building block of social innovation promoted the European Commission to launch a study, Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.


The main output of the study is this JRC Scientific and Policy report, which brings together and analyses the contributions of the many people who lent their expertise to this research in 2013. It is hoped that this report will support policy makers with responsibilities in employment, youth and social policy, health policy, education policy, technology policy and industry policy to work together with other stakeholders from practice, research and industry in taking decisions about how to exploit the exciting potential of digital game-based approaches in meeting social and economic goals.


This summary is taken from the full report, available via this link: The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy.  James Stewart, Lizzy Bleumers, Jan Van Looy, Ilse Mariën, Anissa All, Dana Schurmans, Koen Willaert, Frederik De Grove, An Jacobs, Gianluca Misuraca Editor: Clara Centeno, 25900 EN, 9/2013 http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=6579


To learn more about digital gaming for social inclusion, read SIE's interview with James Stewart, one of the authors of the report: SIE interviews James Stewart