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Bhéreur-Lagounaris, Alexia. “Games with a social impact: towards a new name for responsible entertainment” Masters written mostly in French , University of Montreal, 2018.
The Social impact Games movement is in full expansion since 2000 (Burak 2017, Macklin 2003) and has all sorts of labels: Serious Games, Therapeutic Games, Educational Games, Citizen Science Gaming, Empathic Games, Journalism Games, LARP (Live Action Role Play) for social good, to name a few. Thanks to the democratisation of technology, Citizen Engagement and Game Design expertise on the rise, these types of games addressing social good messages seems to multiply. But how does impact works? What “impact” are we really talking about and how is design contributing to values or even ideology? This Master aims to analyze a few games that call themselves social impact games in order to better understand this type of games and its movement, criticize the consequences and collect design practices that can benefit social transformation through play. Presented in three parts to better highlight the heterogeneous aspect of the phenomenon, this thesis is composed of a prospective article that juxtaposes two currents, published in English by Inter-disciplinary Press, a detailed analysis of a digital game and a study on the stakes of the gamifying public spaces. The spinoffs will be used to list the best game design practices that can bring about collective beneficial transformation, towards a possible future of socially responsible games.