Democracy and Games: Analog and Digital Game-Based-Learning Tools for Youth Work (DEMOGAMES)

  • DEMOGAMES is a Youth in Action project within the Erasmus+ framework. Through the development of several analogue and digital games, the project will advance knowledge transfer in the field of democracy education. Democracy education enables young people to recognize and represent their interests, to participate in political processes and, in doing so, to meet their fellow human beings and their concerns with respect. The project addresses these issues and uses the didactic approach of game-based learning to engage young citizens with respect to learning about, through and for democracy.
    EC, Erasmus+, 2019-2022


    Laura Junglas

    Goethe University Frankfurt

    Research Questions

    The objectives of DEMOGAMES are to introduce young citizens to the topic of democracy in an engaging and participative way by playing analogue and digital games. Mediated knowledge on democratic processes, norms and values often remains abstract. In contrast, highly complex facts can be conveyed in an activating, participative and engaging manner through game-based learning. Within this project, several game-based learning tools will be designed and applied in promoting democracy education in youth work and non-formal education with the main purpose to engage, connect and empower young people. We are confident that democracy education can lead to greater understanding of democratic processes, norms and values, and increase the ability of young people to effectively participate in society and political life.
    The project includes several activities for young people and practitioners in youth work and non-formal education to engage in discussions on democracy related topics beyond their local, regional or national experience. The sustainability of the project results will be fostered through the development of educational tools, methods and materials for democracy education in non-formal youth work, allowing practitioners (youth workers, trainers, and teachers) to make a substantive contribution to several of the areas of action of the renewed EU Youth Strategy proposed by the European Commission for 2019-2027: Engaging, connecting and empowering young people. Furthermore, the to be-developed tools tie in with the Erasmus+ Youth in Action KA2 thematic priority to promote active (European) citizenship for young people.

    Contribution to International Research

    The DEMOGAMES project builds on the cooperation between the GIGA (coordinator) and five partner organizations from different European countries. The consortium brings together experienced actors within the fields of youth work, civic education, and democracy research. In line with the GIGA motto “theoria cum praxi” the project contributes to the transfer of academic insights on democracy as well as capacity building in the field of non-formal youth work.

    Research Design and Methods

    The main outcome of DEMOGAMES will be a comprehensive “democracy game box” (D-BOX), which will include a set of analogue and digital democracy games. The games can be used by practitioners (youth workers, trainers, and teachers) to teach democracy from different perspectives and to engage young people in a participatory way. The box will be accompanied by easy and understandable training materials for practitioners with examples and exercises to use the democracy games. To increase the impact of the D-BOX the consortium will create a training of trainers curriculum and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). These outputs will be flanked by several learning/ teaching / training activities and local as well as transnational dissemination events.
    Currently several analogue and digital games are in the development stage. These games deal with topics like formal aspects of democracy (i.e. democratic processes and institutions) as well as the importance of democratic norms and values to animate and breath life in democratic structures.

    Preliminary Findings

    Our Democracy Game Box with eight analogue and digital educational games are innovative and ready-to-use game-based learning tools that make workshops fun and engaging.

    The Demogames Facilitator’s Manual and our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) learning videos provide with background information and tipps to make the best use of them.


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