This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

SDG Games for Youth Work

Limerick Institute of Technology
Web Site
Paul Keating.
Thematic Area
Social Sciences and Humanities
Factual description
Games Building in Sustainable Development Education:

This project is focused on the area of education for sustainable development. The participants are drawn from youth work (15 youth workers) who work together with games design technologists (5 Students from games design) facilitated by a Lecturer in LIT (Paul Keating)

The concept is to build understanding of the complexity of Sustainable development through the use of ‘Game Playing’. Initially this is based on actual board games eg. Monopoly to keep one element of the complexity stable. The complexity is developed and understood through ‘storytelling as a technique’ the stories are based on people and their lives. These stories become the foundations stones of the ‘game’ that is created. The ‘game’ is initially a manual/paper based game and later developed into a computer based game. These games are then used to illustrate complexity in terms of the interface between actions / consequences / responses / power.

The phases of the project are:

Phase 1: Preparing for Game Design:

(Week 1) Introduction to the complexity of SDG’s focusing on impact on people and society. All 17 goals presented to participants. Participants work in teams of 5 supported by a student.

(Week 3) Each team researches three goals and presents their understanding of the issues to the remining teams. The concept of ‘storytelling’ is introduced to the participants. This is illustrated by the use of the technique by others telling stories of their lives and lived experiences. Guidance on structure of the stories: Framework, context, protagonist etc. is shared.

(Week 6) Then participants then return to share their ‘stories’ with the participants in the group.

Phase 2: Games Design (paper based ) Creating games around the stories they have developed. Game Making is a process and in the first instance is paper based.

Phase 3: Games Design (computer based) Creating the computer game from the stories or new idea, have tool to help the (need to learn about) technology and the youth workers. Keeping games design simple. The product is a Board game and computer game created by each of the 5 teams which in turn will be disseminated together with the educational resource generated at Phase 4 to a broader audience.

Phase 4: Creating an educational resource that comes with the games (put the game in context , packaging to make it useable) Exhibition in VR, needs to be presented to the public. the games are presented to the public for dissemination and use.

See: Sustainable Development Games - National Youth Council of Ireland

Relevance in complex systems
The process of creating the games brings together people from different areas of expertise.

The use of ‘games’ provides an anchor from which complex understanding can be launched.

The games created can be paper or computer based but they allow for the development of action /consequence/response sequences which allow the learning and engagement to be developed and can incorporate greater degrees of complexity as they develop through the layers of action -consequence -response.

The learning is embedded in a ‘game’ which is an engaging and entertaining way to learn for the good.
Strong points
Interdisciplinary nature of the project: Youth work/Technology.

Use of simple tool to generate complex games which simulate real life transactions.

Creativity in the creation of the game and as a tool for learning.

Transferability potential
Please describe the transferability potential:

The model could be used by other agencies for the same purpose eg SDG’goals.

It could be developed further to focus on particular goals