Gameful civic education: A systematic literature review of empirical research

Isabella Aura, Lobna Hassan, Juho Hamari

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Gameful approaches to learning have gradually been established as the go-to rhetoric when attempting to increase engagement with learning. This has especially been the case in educational activities that have long-term missions or teach abstract concepts, such as life skills, communal tolerance, or civic education at large, where there exist several pedagogical challenges in making the context meaningful to the youth. However, currently there is no clear overall view on what kind of gameful affordances are utilized in teaching these subjects and what are their reported impacts. To investigate the state-of-the-art of this corpus, 36 empirical papers were identified and systematically reviewed. The current literature, overall, draws quite an optimistic image of the benefits of game-based approaches in civic education. Most of the reported gamification designs included characters and roleplay, social aspects such as co-op and chat functions, as well as 3D worlds and game maps for students to navigate in. Furthermore, the corpus reported positive impact of gamification on learning in the context of civic education as well as positive impact on cognitive, emotional, motivational and social experiences and motivation. However, the lack of detailed descriptions of the exact attributes that facilitated these favorable shifts indicates a need for more systematic research to identify the long-term and transferable influence game-based approaches have on formal civic education and students’ civic skills.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event6th International GamiFIN Conference 2022 - Virtual, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 26.04.202229.04.2022
Conference number: 6


  • civic education
  • game-based approaches
  • game-based learning
  • gamification
  • systematic literature review


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