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GameUfying: a European project to create European citizens through entertainment

If you’re a student, even if I don’t know you, I think we certainly share an opinion: studying is boring and nobody, or at least few people, enjoy it. But unfortunately, at the same time, it’s also the only thing that can promise us a slightly better future. So how can we not study, but at the same time learn useful things?

The answer to this question will unfortunately disappoint you, because you can’t stop studying, but you can certainly ease the difficulty of traditional study with a method that is spreading rapidly in the teaching world and beyond, and which will make you experience the learning process in a completely different way.

Some elements that Gamification is based on

I’m talking about Gamification, a non-formal learning process that seeks to present a topic within a more immersive narrative framework as opposed to the typical compared to the typical history book with a thousand dates and notions that no one would be excited about, and which uses very effective strategies such as role-playing to make the user identify with the subject. 

This approach has several advantages:

– It reduces the stress derived from academic pressure: through play, we are free to experiment and “fail” without the usual academic pressures.

– It improves information retention, helping students to remember what they learn more easily.

– Skills are developed alongside learning, such as teamwork and communication.

There are several initiatives that have adopted this method in order to involve the public, especially young people, in order for citizens, especially young people, to disseminate a complex subject such as the structure and functioning of the European Union.

Several initiatives have adopted this method to involve citizens, especially young people, in spreading the word about a complex subject such as the structure and functioning of the European Union.

The GamEUfying project, co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus+ program, was developed by a consortium of four organizations: the Youth Council of Castilla y León, CEIPES (Italy), Rosto Solidário (Portugal) and ASPAYM CyL. By participating in this project, it is possible to become a European citizen who is more aware of the mechanisms that regulate the European Union, which, although it may be perceived as distant, would be very positive to know in order to understand how each nation state interacts with the European institutions (which, let’s not forget, offer large amounts of funding to each state and countless job opportunities). Here are some examples of activities included in the GamEUfying project:

Card game to learn about famous European personalities: A game that helps you discover historical figures, artists, scientists and other influential people in European history, such as some of Europe’s founding fathers: Jean Monnet (France), Robert Schuman (France), Konrad Adenauer (Germany), Alcide De Gasperi (Italy), Paul-Henri Spaak (Belgium).

The fathers of the European Constitution

  • Virtual Escape Room: An immersive experience that involves participants in a series of challenges and puzzles to solve, all based on European themes. Virtual game with questions on the Erasmus+ programme and other opportunities for young Europeans: This game can help to gain a better understanding of the opportunities offered by the EU for young people, such as the Erasmus+ programme and other mobility projects.
  • Board game with questions about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda: An activity that raises participants’ awareness of the SDGs, divided into five thematic categories. Each participant or team will have a goal card and will have to answer questions to advance in the game.

Escape Box: A game made up of closed boxes that participants must open by discovering the codes through questions about the EU accession procedure. This type of activity encourages problem solving and knowledge of European political processes.

EU-NEXT GEN SIMULATION: A project that seeks to raise awareness of European institutions and politics through role playing. Participants simulate the legislative process, representing members of the European Parliament and the Council. This approach includes a theoretical explanation of the theoretical explanation of the European institutions and the legislative process, providing all the necessary material for a complete immersion.

In addition to these activities related to non-formal learning, there are numerous job opportunities for those interested in journalism and communication within the EU, here are some examples:

EU Institutions: Working directly for the EU institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Commission or the Council of the EU. These often seek journalists and communicators for their press and communication departments.

International organizations: Many international organizations based in the EU, such as the UN or NATO, need communication professionals.

European media: Media operating at the European level, such as Euronews, Político

European EUobserver, offers job opportunities in journalism.

News agencies and freelancers: Working for news agencies or as a freelance journalist, covering freelance journalist, covering events and news of European relevance.

NGOs and think tanks: These organisations often need communication professionals to disseminate their research and activities.

To access these opportunities, there are specific platforms:

EU Careers: This is the EU’s official recruitment platform. It provides information on different job profiles, selection processes and public competitions.

EURES (European Employment Services): A cooperation network that facilitates the free movement of workers in the European Economic Area. It allows you to search for journalism jobs throughout the EU, offers personalized advisory services and practical information on how to live and work in different EU countries.

I remember my personal experience with the European Parliament simulation. It lasted only a few days, but it was more valuable than years of reading articles and international law manuals. This experience motivated me even more when I returned to theoretical study.

As a former skeptic of this approach, I can say that gamification applied to European procedures has been the most effective thing I’ve ever done to understand European mechanisms. Experiencing the dynamics of the European Parliament through the eyes of an MEP, immersed in the rules of the game, is something that makes you get to know the subject in a profound way, not only understanding it, but also enjoying it. I stopped seeing Europe as an abstract entity and began to see it as a collection of interconnected nations, each with its own interests and values, but all part of a great common project.

Luigi Chiesa