Playing with citizens' rights

re:publica 2015
Politics & Society

Short thesis: 

Every day people in Europe face questions and decisions about their rights. So we at European Alternatives thought, let’s play out existing case law to help inform Europeans of their rights and then let’s get onto some curricula across the continent. We believe that by sharing the decision-making processes of people struggling with their rights through board games, role playing games and easy-to-use open source gaming platforms, we can not only inform people of their rights, but also help them to share their own stories and to imagine a Europe where rights protection is possible.


Let’s say you were listed as bankrupt in 2006, or you were involved in a minor traffic accident in 2010, or your political career was nearly ruined by a scandal in 2012. You can forget about these things, your friends can forget about these things, but the search engines won’t. What happens when this is affecting other aspects of your life? From getting a job, to buying a house, to furthering your career? These questions challenge us to ask what it means to be a citizen, and what it means to have rights in Europe.

European Alternatives is a coalition of activists across Europe working to discover and recreate Europe. Our vision is a Europe where we interact with our rights, our institutions and one another to build a better Europe. But for many the distance between rights and daily lives is so vast that it can seem insurmountable. Gaming is the realm where we can explore our continent as well as what an alternative Europe might look like.

The one hour presentation begins with European Alternatives’ Amsterdam members Laura and Andrea playing out a game with the audience developed for high school curricula across the Netherlands to teach young Europeans about the the EU. We’ll see how much participants really know about the institutions that govern the region. Then European Alternatives’ Senior Project Manager, Jackson, will project an open-source developed game onto the screen and ask the audience to make some of the decisions outlined in the thesis, to see just how complicated European citizenship is for many.

Ignite Talk


Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 15:00 to 16:00