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Best practices for deploying digital games for personal empowerment and social inclusion

Lizzy Bleumers, Ilse Mariën, Jan Van Looy UGent, James Stewart, Dana Schurmans and Anissa All UGent (2013) 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings. p.53-61
abstract
Digital games are being increasingly used in initiatives to promote personal empowerment and social inclusion (PESI) of disadvantaged groups through learning and participation. There is a lack of knowledge regarding best practices, however. The literature on game-based learning insufficiently addresses the process and context of game-based practice and the diversity of contexts and intermediaries involved in PESI work. This paper takes an important step in addressing this knowledge gap using literature review, case studies, and expert consultation. Based on our findings, we formulate a set of best practices for different stakeholders who wish to set up a project using digital games for PESI. The seven cases in point are projects that represent various application domains of empowerment and inclusion. Case studies were conducted using documentation and interviews, covering background and business case, game format/technology, user groups, usage context, and impact assessment. They provide insight into each case’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing a meta-analysis of the important features and challenges of using digital games for PESI. This analysis was extended and validated through discussion at two expert workshops. Our study shows that a substantial challenge lies in selecting or designing a digital game that strikes a balance between enjoyment, learning and usability for the given use context. The particular needs of the target group and those that help implement the digital game require a highly specific approach. Projects benefit from letting both intermediaries and target groups contribute to the game design and use context. Furthermore, there is a need for multi-dimensional support to facilitate the use and development of game-based practice. Integrating game use in the operation of formal and informal intermediary support organiszations increases the chances at reaching, teaching and empowering those at risk of exclusion. The teachers, caregivers and counsellors involved in the implementation of a game-based approach, in turn can be helped through documentation and training, in combination with structural support.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference (proceedingsPaper)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
empowerment, best practices, digital games, game-based learning, inclusion
in
7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings
editor
P Escudeiro and CV DeCarvalho
issue title
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 7TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON GAMES BASED LEARNING, VOLS 1 AND 2
pages
53 - 61
publisher
ACAD
conference name
7th European Conference on Game Based Learning (ISEP - 2013)
conference location
Porto, Portugal
conference start
2013-10-03
conference end
2013-10-04
Web of Science type
Proceedings Paper
Web of Science id
000343421700007
ISSN
2049-0992
ISBN
9781909507654
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
P1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4157940
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4157940
date created
2013-10-08 12:49:56
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:35:33
@inproceedings{4157940,
  abstract     = {Digital games are being increasingly used in initiatives to promote personal empowerment and social inclusion (PESI) of disadvantaged groups through learning and participation. There is a lack of knowledge regarding best practices, however. The literature on game-based learning insufficiently addresses the process and context of game-based practice and the diversity of contexts and intermediaries involved in PESI work. This paper takes an important step in addressing this knowledge gap using literature review, case studies, and expert consultation. Based on our findings, we formulate a set of best practices for different stakeholders who wish to set up a project using digital games for PESI. The seven cases in point are projects that represent various application domains of empowerment and inclusion. Case studies were conducted using documentation and interviews, covering background and business case, game format/technology, user groups, usage context, and impact assessment. They provide insight into each case{\textquoteright}s strengths and weaknesses, allowing a meta-analysis of the important features and challenges of using digital games for PESI. This analysis was extended and validated through discussion at two expert workshops. Our study shows that a substantial challenge lies in selecting or designing a digital game that strikes a balance between enjoyment, learning and usability for the given use context. The particular needs of the target group and those that help implement the digital game require a highly specific approach. Projects benefit from letting both intermediaries and target groups contribute to the game design and use context. Furthermore, there is a need for multi-dimensional support to facilitate the use and development of game-based practice. Integrating game use in the operation of formal and informal intermediary support organiszations increases the chances at reaching, teaching and empowering those at risk of exclusion. The teachers, caregivers and counsellors involved in the implementation of a game-based approach, in turn can be helped through documentation and training, in combination with structural support.},
  author       = {Bleumers, Lizzy and Mari{\"e}n, Ilse and Van Looy, Jan and Stewart, James  and Schurmans, Dana and All, Anissa},
  booktitle    = {7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings},
  editor       = {Escudeiro, P and DeCarvalho, CV},
  isbn         = {9781909507654},
  issn         = {2049-0992},
  keyword      = {empowerment,best practices,digital games,game-based learning,inclusion},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Porto, Portugal},
  pages        = {53--61},
  publisher    = {ACAD},
  title        = {Best practices for deploying digital games for personal empowerment and social inclusion},
  year         = {2013},
}

Chicago
Bleumers, Lizzy, Ilse Mariën, Jan Van Looy, James Stewart, Dana Schurmans, and Anissa All. 2013. “Best Practices for Deploying Digital Games for Personal Empowerment and Social Inclusion.” In 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings, ed. P Escudeiro and CV DeCarvalho, 53–61. ACAD.
APA
Bleumers, L., Mariën, I., Van Looy, J., Stewart, J., Schurmans, D., & All, A. (2013). Best practices for deploying digital games for personal empowerment and social inclusion. In P. Escudeiro & C. DeCarvalho (Eds.), 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings (pp. 53–61). Presented at the 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning (ISEP - 2013), ACAD.
Vancouver
1.
Bleumers L, Mariën I, Van Looy J, Stewart J, Schurmans D, All A. Best practices for deploying digital games for personal empowerment and social inclusion. In: Escudeiro P, DeCarvalho C, editors. 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings. ACAD; 2013. p. 53–61.
MLA
Bleumers, Lizzy, Ilse Mariën, Jan Van Looy, et al. “Best Practices for Deploying Digital Games for Personal Empowerment and Social Inclusion.” 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning, Proceedings. Ed. P Escudeiro & CV DeCarvalho. ACAD, 2013. 53–61. Print.