Serious games as a means to promote thinking about European identity: a case study of the design and development of the RU EU? game

Elizabeth Boyle, Melody Terras*, Murray Stewart Leith, Duncan Sim, Athanassios Jimoyiannis, Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge, Nadera Sultana Tany, Hans Hummel, Petar Jandric

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The diversity of the EU is both a strength and a weakness, with Issues of National and European identity contributing to division, marginalization and exclusion. Many European citizens have very firmly entrenched, but frequently simplistic, views about the value of the European Union as good (pro EU) or bad (anti EU). To promote a culture of increased tolerance and inclusion, EU citizens need to develop a more mature and nuanced understanding of National and European identity that considers the validity of others’ points of view. Serious Games are increasingly recognised as active and effective methods for tackling complex social problems. Therefore, the RU EU? (are you EU?) project developed a game to increase players’ awareness of the complexity of European identity and values, to help players develop a more detailed understanding of European identity and promote critical thinking about their own views, the views of others, and the wider societal consequences. In this paper we describe the RU EU? Game as a case study explaining the thinking behind the game design. We outline the early design tasks that led to development of the multicomponent model of European identity that we used in the game, the adoption of the journalist narrative and the tools that assisted the player in his goal of compiling and publishing a set of articles about European identity. We discuss the potential of the game tools and mechanics to be used more widely to promote social understanding and inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
JournalDigital Culture and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


  • serious games
  • European identity
  • inclusion
  • case study
  • journalist narrative


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