Panel j.05 — Leveling Up: The influence of Game Design on Education and Social Justice

Convenors Carlo Andrea Pensavalle (University of Sassari, Italy); Tiziano Antognozzi (Scuola IMT Alti Studi di Lucca)

Keywords Cultural inclusive Game design, Immersive artistic expression, Socially conscious education, Social Empowerment, Educational entertainment


This panel offers a unique and thought-provoking opportunity to explore the power of game design for social change, fostering an inclusive, democratic, and socially conscious education. Our goal is to underscore how game designers, educators, artists, and activists can contribute to promoting an inclusive, democratic, and socially conscious education through games. Board games, video games, and immersive experiences have evolved into powerful tools that transcend entertainment, allowing us to address pressing social issues and nurture positive societal transformation. This panel aims to explore the uncharted territories where the worlds of game design and social justice intersect.

Panel Objectives

The main objectives here outlined for this panel are meant to emphasize the potential of artistic languages in games as invaluable resources for fostering inclusive education, social art, and social justice. They aim to shed light on the transformative capacity of game design.

Artistic Languages and Social Inclusivity: We intend to investigate how artistic languages in games can transcend cultural, linguistic, and physical barriers. By promoting inclusivity in education and entertainment, these languages have the power to connect people from diverse backgrounds and life paths.

Educational Game Design: Through this objective, we discuss the scientific underpinnings of game design in creating educational games. These games not only engage learners but also have the capacity to convey complex ideas, encouraging democratic education through interactive, immersive experiences.

Artistic Expression in Gaming: We highlight the critical role of games as a form of social art. Game design provides a unique medium for creative expression and exploration of social justice themes, enabling artists and designers to communicate profound messages.

Social Justice and Games: This objective explore the untapped potential of live-action role-playing (LARP) games, video games, and board games in raising awareness about social justice issues. These games have the power to challenge prevailing narratives and inspire players to critically examine and address societal injustices and stigma.

Practical Applications: We share best practices and real-world case studies where game design principles have been applied to achieve objectives related to inclusive education, social art, and social justice. These practical examples will serve as inspiring models for future initiatives.

The Power of Convergence

By bringing together experts from various fields – game designers, educators, artists, and social justice activists – we hope to inspire not only those attending this panel but also developers, players, and researchers worldwide. We seek to motivate and equip individuals to leverage the power of gaming as a force for social justice and positive change in their respective communities.

In conclusion, this panel aims to be an illuminating exploration of the intersection between game design and social change. It invites attendees to consider the far-reaching impact of these artistic languages in promoting inclusive, democratic, and socially conscious education. The transformative potential is boundless, and together, we can unlock it, clearing the way for a more equitable and just society.


Guidelines and abstracts submission