Serious Games as a Tool for Enhancing Civic Competencies and Engagement

Updated: 9:14am, 7 Nov, 2023
18 October 2023 (Wed)
Room 101, Runme Shaw Building, HKU / Online via Zoom (Hybrid mode)
Prof. Dr. Monika OBERLE , Professor of Political Science/Civic Education, University of Göttingen
Ms. Valeriia HULKOVYCH , Research Assistant, Chair for Political Science/Civic Education, University of Goettingen
Chair by:
Dr. Frank REICHERT, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, HKU
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This talk explores the use of serious games as a tool for enhancing students’ civic competencies. By combining the engaging nature of games with the objectives of civic education, serious games offer practical and immersive experiences that could foster critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and decision-making skills as well as motivational dispositions such as political interest and self-efficacy. In addition to enhancing civic competencies through serious games, the talk will also delve into how serious games can play a pivotal role in promoting active civic engagement among students, fostering a more informed and participatory citizenry. Empirical studies have shown how, e.g. online simulation games can promote political efficacy as a prerequisite of civic engagement, but also point out specific limits of digital settings as compared to analogue games. The presentation will discuss the theoretical foundations, specific benefits, and challenges of incorporating serious games into civic education based on empirical findings. The talk will also feature the discussion of several examples of serious games used in Germany and Europe, prompting further exploration of their applicability in the context of Hong Kong.

About the speaker(s):

Monika Oberle has been a Full Professor of Political Science/Civic Education at the University of Goettingen, Germany, since 2014. With a diverse range of research interests and a special focus on the implementation of systematic empirical studies, she has been contributing to fields such as Democracy Education, Civic Education about the European Union, and (Digital) Game-Based Learning in Civics. Additionally, Professor Oberle’s expertise extends to areas such as Teacher Professionalization and School-Based as well as Extracurricular Civic Education. Monika Oberle is currently chairwoman of the scientific council of Germany’s Federal Agency of Civic Education (bpb), and from 2016 to 2021 served as chairwoman of the Society for Didactics of Politics and Civic Youth and Adult Education (GPJE). Since January 2023, she has been involved in the research project “Students’ Assessment of Credibility in Online Environments: Assessment Criteria, Influencing Factors, and Skills for Citizenship in the Digital Age”, collaborating with Dr. Frank Reichert from the Faculty of Education at HKU. Further information about Monika Oberle is available on her website:

Valeriia Hulkovych holds a master’s degree in Political Science, having studied at the University of Wrocław in Poland and the University of Goettingen in Germany, with a focus on global and regional governance. She has been working as research assistant at the Chair of Political Science/Civic Education at the University of Goettingen since 2021. Her research interests include the use of serious games in civic education, the systematic monitoring of extracurricular civic education, as well as civic education about the European Union and the United Nations. Further information about Valeriia Hulkovych can be found on her website:

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