Can digital games save the world?

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Media for Development recently supported the European Commission, taking part in an event exploring the use of video games to support disadvantaged communities.

The manager of YoungDads.TV, Scott Colfer, took part in an Experts Workshop on Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion in Seville, Spain, hosted by the European Commission.

Scott was there as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe to talk about his research in to the use of video games with 14-19 year olds in the UK and Media for Development’s planned activity with digital games. This includes our seed funding to start Europe’s first app development social enterprise, called Pocket Change, which will inevitably use mobile gaming to connect with communities.

It is games’ fun that makes them so popular, and to remove this is likely to remove the key motivation for playing games

The key learning was that we do not have to make games ‘serious’ or ‘meaningful’ before they can be used with communities. It is games’ fun that makes them so popular, and to remove this is likely to remove the key motivation for playing games. So, although there is a need for ‘serious’ games with a specific purpose targeted at niche groups, games need to be fun in order to have broad appeal. Budgets for successful commercial games are often larger than those for motion pictures. Sputrenfibiha . Governments developing games with a social purpose cannot match these budgets, so could money be better spent working with existing commercial games and instead focussing on the development of informal gaming communities?

Let us know what you think.

If you’d like to find out more, Scott’s presentation is embedded below:

Can digital games be used with dis-engaged learners?

3 Comments on “Can digital games save the world?

  1. HI Scott,

    This is really exciting! I’d love to learn more—at IfH we have been talking about how we could use the data we have been collecting—and seeking to visualize—as a “foundation” for a game….ie. a “realistic” development game…with key actors, actions, etc. that would allow for “contingency based planning”…..

    Am looking forward to seeing what you are doing.

    best, Jerri

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