A new initiative aimed at promoting active citizenship and youth entrepreneurship has been launched under the umbrella of the European Union’s Erasmus+ program. The project, titled “Civic Approach for Youth in Video Gaming” (CAVG), is a collaborative effort coordinated by the French NGO Sunrise Project France, in partnership with Vocea Copiilor Abandonati NGO from Romania and Be Creative Association from Sweden. The project seeks to harness the potential of video games to foster civic engagement among European youth aged 8 to 30.

The Project
The CAVG project is set to commence on February 1, 2023, and will run for 15 months, ending on May 1, 2024. The project’s primary objective is to equip youth workers within the three partner associations with the latest knowledge related to civic engagement, video game mechanisms, and the skills required for designing various artistic and technical content for a video game.

Another significant aim of the project is to build a detailed video game approach to civic education through a multimedia guide. This guide will inspire and encourage socio-educational workers to integrate video games into their non-digital activities.

The Motivation
The European video game market is experiencing exponential growth and is beginning to have a significant influence on European societies. With 52% of Europeans aged 6 to 64 playing daily, video games are becoming an integral part of people’s lives. Recognizing the strategic importance of this cultural innovation, the European Union Parliament launched the pilot project “European Video Games Society” in 2022.

The CAVG project believes that if video games are an excellent tool for developing knowledge and skills due to their interactive, emotional, and sensory aspects, they should also become an excellent tool for young people in developing their soft skills. Civic engagement seems to be one of the most favorable grounds for this exploratory experimentation.

The Target Groups
The project targets several well-defined audiences, each with its interests and specific needs. Initially, the project targets employees, youth workers, technicians, and active volunteers within the consortium. These individuals will be involved throughout the project in the successful completion of different Work Packages.

The second target audience consists of 60 young users, beneficiaries, or members of the consortium’s associations. These young people will participate in the testing phase of the serious game.

Following the official release of the serious game, a third target audience composed of regular players will be the subject of extended attention. The consortium aims for the serious game to be downloaded by 2,000 players worldwide, the majority in Europe, within a week of its release.

The CAVG project is a promising initiative that aims to use the power of video games to foster civic engagement among European youth. By equipping youth workers with the necessary skills and knowledge and providing a platform for young people to engage in civic activities, the project is poised to make a significant impact on youth engagement across Europe.