EPIC-WE, a European project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, introduces cultural game jams as a novel approach to empower young people as co-creators of European culture and shapers of their own futures in society, cultural institutions, and creative industries. The backbone of the project is the EPIC-WE helix ecosystem, a transferable framework where youth, cultural and creative sector organisations, higher education institutions, and civil society organisations cooperate as actors in the ecosystem.
EPIC-WE engages in cultural game jams, where youth and other actors in the ecosystem create games through and for culture inspired by cultural heritage. The framework explores the potential of this approach as a method for strengthening European values, belonging, and cultural participation. Through game-making activities, EPIC-WE equips youth with cultural-creative imagination and competencies to face societal challenges with curiosity, creativity, agency, and imagination, which is referred to as Empowered Participation.
The project is carried out as an ambitious Design-Based Research and Innovation (DBR) action across three European sites. EPIC-WE ecosystem actors co-create, develop, implement, and evaluate the proposed framework. The validated DBR innovations are presented as accessible resources that enable organisations across Europe to replicate the EPIC-WE ecosystem, formats, and methods.
EPIC-WE ensures that the project's results reach a wide range of European cultural heritage institutions, creative industries, and higher education institutions, including the game industry and civil society organisations. The consortium is in itself a helix ecosystem, bringing together leading research, cultural and creative sector organisations with multidisciplinary excellence in DBR, participatory and value-sensitive design, game design, and youth engagement. The aim is to empower youth as future culture-makers and game-makers in cultural heritage institutions, creative industries, and higher education institutions, as well as value-sensitive agents of change in society.
Through extensive research, capacity building, and policy advocacy activities, EPIC-WE strives to ensure that the project's results have a lasting impact on European culture and society. The project's innovative approach to cultural game jams and cultural- and value-sensitive game-making and games through and for culture has the potential to transform how we think about cultural heritage, creative industries, and youth empowerment in Europe. EPIC-WE is a unique and exciting project that demonstrates the potential of youth and culture to shape the future of Europe.
Aarhus Universitet (AU), Cofac Cooperativa De Formacao E Animacao Cultural Crl (UL), Kea European Affairs (KEA), Stichting Nederlands Instituut Voorbeeld En Geluid (NISV), Aarhus Kommune (AAKS), Stichting Hogeschool Van Amsterdam (AUAS), Dropstuff Media Bv (DM), Camara Municipal De Obidos (CMO), Battlesheep, Lda. (BS), Meet Digital Communication Srl Impresa Sociale (MEET), Fonden Creative Business Cup (CBC), Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum (AROS).