The scenarios are a key deliverable of the Gaming Horizons project. They are the culmination of a programme of work that started in December 2016. Over a period of 14 months, the Gaming Horizons team reviewed the current state of the art in game studies, game-based learning and gamification research, carried out primary research through interviews with 73 informants, and engaged with stakeholders from five stakeholder groups, i.e. categories representing specific interests and goals associated with the development, the study and the use of video games. The stakeholder groups are: educators, researchers, policy makers, young people/players, and developers.
The scenarios are the result of an explicit objective: to present policy recommendations and practical guidelines based on evidence and an intense consultation process, which nonetheless are accessible and articulated in an engaging, non-specialist language. The use of story vignettes ad comics is informed by a clear communicative principle: visual, narrative and artistic methods open up possibilities for thinking about and representing complex topics. The scenarios should therefore be considered as ‘hybrid texts’ consisting of written language and other graphic content as a means of exploring theory, evidence and representing recommendations and advice not in abstract, but as a form of ‘lived experience’. Moreover, the scenarios should be considered as ‘live outputs’ which will be updated and expanded over the coming months with additional resources, links and through the continuation of Gaming Horizons’ dissemination and stakeholder engagement through social media.
The scenarios were developed through an iterative process involved the entire Gaming Horizons team, striking a careful balance between primary evidence, research literature and a degree of creativity. During the design phase, the team found that the use of narratives and comics greatly enhanced the scenario’s ability to convey opportunities, risks, recommendations and practical advice. Each scenario follows a similar, rather self-explanatory, template. The online format affords a ‘non-linear’ reading through the use of taxonomies, where keywords and audience types act like tags and categories respectively. These will display lists of scenarios which are relevant to a particular audience, or which have been tagged with a particular keyword.