The Digital Agenda for Europe aims at the overall objective of having everyone connected and empowered, which poses special challenges towards disadvantaged parts of the population, to be included. In this respect, research shows that the digital games industry is expected to grow in the future. Developing a Digital Games industry can contribute offering a key instrument to fulfill these opportunities and addressing the key challenges set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Within a scenario of rapidly increasing convergence of digital technologies and integration of media services, the role of the creative content industry is expected to increase accordingly and the video games software industry plays a major role. In this general context, Digital Games use the platforms and techniques of the videogame industry to create products and services and have a potential to further education, health, public policy, government or corporate training, and strategic communication objectives.
Digital Games with useful objectives going beyond the simple fun of playing may serve social purposes like inclusion, health, skilling, learning and other public services, where their action complements more classical approaches. Because of their ludic dynamics, they are usually very welcome to different kind of public (not only youngsters) and this is their strength.
Considering that the video games industry is going through a period of change, including significant transformation in the value chain, Digital ‘Serious’ Games thus offer opportunities not only for the existing actors but also to new entrants with expertise in training, simulation, healthcare and social inclusion.
The aim of the exploratory study is to better understand:
- what are the industrial, market, social opportunities and limitations of Digital Games for users' empowerment and as a tool for socio-economic inclusion of people at risk of exclusion (such as youth at risk, migrants, elderly, unemployed, low-educated);
- what are the technological, market, implementation, adoption and policy challenges of creating this potential and if and how policy actions could address the challenges identified.
The research will carry out the following activities:
1. Analysis of the State of Play of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion
This analysis will specifically look at exploring the supply side, including various typologies of digital games, technological platforms; current knowledge of market diffusion and adoption; the state of the art of research and existing practice, as well as identifying the key actors involved in the domain. The goal of this analysis will be to define key (technological, research, policy, industry/market, social, economic) opportunities and challenges of putting Digital Games at the service of empowerment and social inclusion purposes, and to gather evidence of impact in this domain.
2. Vision Development
Building on the consolidated version of the Report of the State of Play, on the opportunities and key challenges identified, through a consultation process among EC policy officers, a common vision of the possible future application of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion will be defined.
3. Development of a Roadmap for Action through Stakeholders' Consultation A multi-stakeholders consultation will be organized to enable a broader dialogue and engage stakeholders, validate the vision defined, identify stakeholders actions and build consensus on possible EC research and policy options to support the vision.
This study is co-funded by the Information Society Unit of the JRC-IPTS and DG INFSO ICT for Inclusion Unit. The JRC-IPTS conducts the study in collaboration with selected external experts in the domain of Digital Games and ICT for Social Inclusion.
JRC-IPTS is looking for examples of successful initiatives from across the world on the use of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion, and for the participation of experts from research and practice in the development of the vision and roadmap. Please contact the Project Leader and the Scientific Coordinator if you wish to contribute to the future of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes has established a group to debate how to improve the policy framework for European media industries, chaired by Christian van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep. The first of five group debates will take place today focussing on the impacts of the digital revolution on European media industries, and will provide input designed to foster pluralist media sector and quality journalism in spite of recent declining revenues.
Neelie Kroes said: "I want out-of-the box thinking. I want to know what the Commission can do to facilitate media's contribution to our democracy and economic growth. The digital revolution is turning media upside down: how can we use the digital Single Market and other tools to capture the potential of this new dynamic?"
The Commission will be looking for Forum members to foster debate throughout 2012, by bringing ambitious personal thinking to the Forum rather than homogenised industry or company views.
The Forum draws on the knowledge and experience of more than 20 personalities from the publishing, broadcasting, advertising, telecommunications, equipment manufacturers, social media and online industries. Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council of Ministers have a standing invitation to participate in this Forum
EU Media Futures Forum topics
The debate on the futures of media industries in Europe will address questions such as:
1) What are the big trends in the media industry in Europe and globally?
2) What is the impact of these trends on business models, competition, pluralism and content creation in Europe?
3) What are the main opportunities and barriers in creating a digital media content market in Europe? What needs to be done to attain or overcome them?
4) How can the European media industries best benefit from the technological developments to enhance their competitiveness globally?
5) What are the conditions for sustainable business models that can deliver quality journalism?
For more information
Digital Agenda website: ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda
The Media Task force website:
The audiovisual and media policies website:
Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/
Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/neeliekroeseu
Members attending first meeting
Chairman, Christian van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep
Annet Aris, Adjunct Professor of Strategy, INSEAD
Nicolas Gaudemet, Vice-President Strategy, Customer Research & International Development, Orange Content & Digital Services
Emmanuel Gabla, Member of the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel, France
Patrick Grueter, Vice-President, Disney
Jesper Hermansen, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Danish Ministry of Culture
Paul Hofheinz, President, The Lisbon Council
Lauri Kivinen, CEO, Yleisradio Oy (YLE)
Rhys Nölke, Vice-President Business Development, RTL Group
Prof. Caroline Pauwels, Director of the Center for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication, Free University Brussels
James Powell, Executive Vice-President and CTO, Thomson Reuters
Dominik Skoczek, Director, Intellectual Property and Media Department, Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP Group
Rob de Spa, Director of Content and Editorial Development, Wegener Media
Prof. Ed Steinmueller, Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex
Xavier Vidal-Folch, Deputy Director, El Pais
Marc de Vries, CEO, Hyves
Piotr Walter, Vice-President and Deputy CEO, TVN S.A.
Dr. Andreas Wiele, Member of the Board and President BILD Group and Magazines, Axel Springer
Confirmed as Forum Members but not attending first meeting:
Matt Brittin, Vice-President Northern and Central Europe, Google
Oscar Bronner, Editor-in-chief, Der Standard
Julien Codorniou, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook
Ruud Hendriks, Independent consultant
Erkki Ormala, Vice-President Technology Policy, Nokia
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail
David Ripert, Vice-President Content, Dailymotion