The aliens have invaded Europe and youth is last hope! Youth will kick the aliens out while developing personal skills through exciting missions. EuropAlien is a cooperative strategy game created in the context of Play4Change project and supported by Erasmus+ Youth in Action Program. Portuguese Red Cross Youth promoted and co-designed the game. 32 young people from different countries and backgrounds designed the first prototype. After several testing sessions, the creators iterated the latest version.
EuropAlien is an engaging feedback mechanism where youth (sometimes in hard-to-reach situations) can express their opinions in a relaxed and fun way. The game focuses on the development of eight areas:
The game is up to eight players per session. Participants team up to solve missions where they use shared resources to free the continent from the outer space invaders. At the end of the mission, there is an in-depth discussion of the thematic areas using question cards. Each conversation helps players upgrade their resources.
These types of cards open a conversation on volunteering values from different social perspectives.
In different stages of the game, players have to work closely to solve side quests. The game is designed to create tough decision-making as it evolves. Players have to discard resources, feats, bonuses, etc., as part of side action cards. The action cards create game situations that are linked to the thoughtful discussions at the end of the missions. For instance, players share their thoughts on how increasing game complexity affected their decisions. What could they have done differently? What is the link to those challenging situations to their day-to-day life?
The game was implemented in youth detention centres where phycologists and social workers are helping youth to reintegrate into society. This tool helped them get better insights from the youth in this complex environments
“We should ask young people what do they think and want from the school. We should listen to their opinion for them to feel engaged in their education”. Said one young member of the detention centre.
To date, EuropAlien has been hugely successful in youth conferences and summits. It is available in Portuguese, English, Italian and German, and in translation process to French and Spanish. The idea has resonated in global forums, where youth wants to make an international version. Contact Tiago Costa, Youth Leader from Portuguese Red Cross