Hanne Wagner (2013 cohort) update

Hanne’s research focuses on investigating novel ways of achieving and promoting political engagement, as well as raising political awareness. In particular, the work looks at the application of current information and entertainment technologies, such as digital games, gamification and social media in order to engage the public with politics and political causes.

Between October 2017 and March 2018, Hanne will use this impact grant to:

  • Aid the understanding of stakeholders about the effects of such technologies on political engagement, and to guide the creation of game-based interactions that utilise them appropriately.

Hanne organised an initial knowledge exchange session and  knowledge gained was applied in a game design activity in stakeholder workshops.

  • Collaborate with a group of partners, including political activists as well as public and not-for-profit organisations whose aim is to further political engagement, education and awareness, through a series of workshops.

Feedback from workshops indicates that participants gained increased awareness of the potential of games for political engagement as well as the existence of politics in games in general, and that they are planning to use learnings from workshops for their ongoing (volunteer) work. Links were forged for potential future collaborations with participants working in similar areas and a number of game designs, collated feedback and group analyses of well-known games were obtained as a result of the workshops.

  • Use a politics and political engagement in games framework, currently named ‘Politics in Games’, which has been developed as part of Hanne’s PhD research. It is currently usable as a check list and as part of this project, will be made into a set of ideation cards, which will facilitate group usage and can be distributed as a standalone design aid to a wider audience.

Hanne introduced card prototypes as the main design tool during the game design activity at workshops. Feedback and observed interactions during workshops will be analysed and used to further modify the cards with a view to making them available on line to be used by other interested parties.

Research impact

This project has created impact for the workshop participants by making them aware of the possibilities of using games to engage wider audiences with their individual goals, and equipping them with the necessary knowledge to self-determine their individual requirements, which they can then pursue with developers.

The ideation card deck achieved further impact by being promoted as a tool that interested groups could use on their own, and finally, the project has created a network for groups who have an interest in and see the need for political engagement and political education of society, by creating a knowledge hub in the form of a website.