The Industry and Policy Context for Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion: Market Analysis, Future Prospects and Key Challenges in Videogames, Serious Games and Gamification
The effective use of digital games for empowerment and social inclusion (DGEI) of people and communities at risk of exclusion will be shaped by, and may influence the development of a range of sectors that supply products, services, technology and research. The principal industries that would appear to be implicated are the 'videogames' industry, and an emerging 'serious games' industry. The videogames industry is an ecosystem of developers, publishers and other service providers drawn from the interactive media, software and broader ICT industry that services the mainstream leisure market in games, The 'serious games' industry is a rather fragmented and growing network of firms, users, research and policy makers from a variety of sectors. These actors are trying to develop knowledge, products, services and a market for the use of digital games and products inspired by digital games for a range of non-leisure applications. This report provides a summary of the state of play of these industries, their trajectories and the challenges they face. It also analyses the contribution these actors could make to exploiting digital games for empowerment and social inclusion. Finally, it explores existing policy towards activities in these industries and markets, and draws conclusions as to the future policy relevance of engaging with them to support innovation and uptake of effective digital game-based approaches to empowerment and social inclusion.