DEMO - citizenship simulator
DEMO is an innovative board game, combining the classic tablet game with a mobile application. The players are forming an imagined community facing various social problems, which they need to solve by applying various forms of civic engagement.
The aim of the game is to develop the social competences of young people, to raise awareness of the ways of civic engagement, to encourage active participation and to educate them on democracy.
DEMO is a combination of a simulation, a cooperative game, a role play and a strategic game.
- a simulation game, because the players have to face challenges as a community, working as a community
- a cooperative game, because the players have to work together, make decisions together
- a strategic game, because the players need to manage existing resources effectively
- a roleplay, because the players can think about situations from a new perspective by getting into the skin of characters
To play the game the players don't need anything bot the game board and a tablet. If this is given, the game can begin.
Throughout the game, players take on the skin of a character, which determines the resources they manage. The character provides a framework that players can build on.
Players are also given a secret mission that influences how they behave, what problems they want to solve and how they want to solve them.
In DEMO, there are four types of fields. Action, where players are faced with problems and have to decide what to do. The quiz, where they can test their knowledge and get resources. Luck, where they can do well, but they can also do badly and the everyday fields represent the times when you are busy with things like work, shopping, family life, cleaning, entertainment, relaxation, etc. instead of community life.
Throughout the game, players move through these fields, overcoming the challenges they face, to progress individually and as a community.
The game is over when someone has completed their mission.
When the game ends it is important to let time to reflect on the game, discuss the experiences and conlusions.
The game board and a tablet.
The expected or wished outcome is that the player get a more clear concept of active citizenship and the possible forms of participation as well as the get more open do think about and discuss social, public and community issues.
The original version of the game was played in many school and university groups in the past years.
The feedbacks showed it to be a particularly effective tool for initiating social conversations, and for raising awareness of the concept and forms of active citizenship.
Difficulties have been encountered in particular with regard to the importance of being able to play the game all the way through in order to get the full experience, which is often difficult due to the strict time constraints in schools. Another important experience is that children under 14 can play the game, but in many cases the content is still difficult for them to grasp.
The new hybrid version was only tested yet in a circle of youth workers, so we are still collecting feedback.
Due to the simulation game form, each version of the game is uniquely based on the unique sociocultural, legal and participatory characteristics of the country (Hungary). In a case of an adaptation it is necessary to build in the specificities of their own country in order to provide real help in working with young people. We are currently looking for project partners to implement together these adaptations.
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