Author: Greta Alliaj, Ecsite – European Network of Science Centers and Museums, Belgium
Co-author(s): Wenzel Mehnert, Lena Söderström
‘You have been chosen to sit on the Citizen World Council and decide in good conscience what will be best for the future of the World.’ Thus begins the players’ adventure in the game newly developed by the EU-funded TechEthos project to elicit societal values, attitudes and concerns from the public, while introducing them to the world of new and emerging technologies, such as Extended Reality, Neurotechnologies, or Climate Engineering. In co-creation with science engagement professionals and based on gamification principles, TechEthos has developed a collaborative, serious game that transmits the trade-offs and unintended consequences in the evolution of technologies. Three play rounds introduce technology subfields, possible application areas and societal and ethical impacts, each with their own consequences on three social factors that need to be kept in equilibrium throughout the game. Teams of players will try the game in six European countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Spain, and Sweden) in the autumn of 2022. Its deployment by science centres and museums will include collaborations with associations and organisations supporting vulnerable groups, in view of a more inclusive participation in such activities. During the demo session, conference participants will be able to hear from the game developers, practitioners and researchers about their experience with the game, including its application in different contexts. They will also explore a physical copy of the game, play themselves through a game round in small groups, and hear about our findings, including what worked and what could be improved. We hope the game’s modularity and open access will inspire others to take up and enhance the tool and develop new sets in their areas of work.