The Project “Game for change – Digital Serious Game – educational tool for strengthening community resilience” uses the gamification in the education as an innovative tool for education. With the project, we produced the digital game “Lunesol” as an educational and training tool for teachers, youth workers and youth to tackle an immense social and economic issue, which is the radicalization of youth resulting in extremism, violence and terrorism.
Radicalization is defined as “a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly violent and extreme political, social, cultural, and religious ideologies” and violent extremism refers to “the beliefs and actions of people who support or use ideologically motivated violence to further social, economic, religiously-based or political objectives. Tackling radicalization is a complex issue for all related professionals and organisations, as there are several factors involved (e.g. social and cultural) and the correlations between those factors are not easy to understand. Hence, it is important to ensure that young people acquire social, civic and cultural competences and enhance their critical thinking, while providing professionals and their organisations with the right tools and skills to help them in the long-term goal of tackling this issue.
The development of the game put significant emphases on the “ownership” through the involvement of all stakeholders in the game development process. This process included organization of series of focus groups with teachers and students from five highs schools from Macedonia as well as workshop with CVE professionals, educators, game developers and psychologist. As support tool for the game development an assessment regarding the use of gamification as educational tool to prevent radicalization leading to violent extremism was produced. The Analysis recommends the best approach out of several methodologies that deal both with technical and educational components that are the most appropriate based on the project’s vision and expected outcomes.
The project was implemented in close cooperation and support by the National Committee for Countering Violent Extremism and Counter-Terrorism and the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Republic of North Macedonia. The project is financially supported by the EU funded STRIVE Global Programme and implemented by Hedayah Foundation.