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Gamification for Empathy

Meeting di Joinclusion

Gamification for Empathy

Gamification for Empathy

One hundred students test the Joinclusion serious game.

“The initial pilot phase of the game has involved over 100 children from Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands, including both children born there and those from different ethnic backgrounds,” explains Concetta Esposito, researcher in developmental psychology and educational psychology at the Department of Humanities at the “Federico II” University of Naples.

Last week, the meeting of European Project JOINclusion was held in Athens, at the  University of West Attica (UNIWA), to share results from the first testing phase of the serious game and set the beginning of the training course that will involve teachers and their classes (ages 7-12) starting in January 2024.

Joinclusion combines interactive multimedia technology with the principles of technology-mediated learning to develop a collaborative serious game, capable of training children on empathy, defined as the ability to understand the perspective or mental state of others and allow the interpretation of experiences or perspectives in a cross-cultural context, from more than one worldview.

“The evaluation of the game included a comprehensive analysis of several factors, such as the level of enjoyment experienced by players, their willingness to play the game again, their level of satisfaction, their level of curiosity, the level of immersion, the relevance of the game in the acquisition of new skills, and the correspondence between the game and the real world," explained the researcher.

“After playing, a significant percentage of students (80%) said they enjoyed it, and 90% expressed a willingness to play again. Additionally, 60% of students said they acquired new skills and knowledge whilst playing.”

Moreover, “the game was praised for its clear, easy-to-follow instructions and for its instruction and general suitability to children,” the researcher added. Now, in order to further improve its attractiveness, the consortium is working on refining the serious game. A new level to be played in collaborative mode is currently being developed to further enhance the experience. The success of the initial pilot phase established a solid foundation for the new phase that will lead to the final version of the game.

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