‘Homeless Monopoly’: Co-Creative Community Engagement Model for Transmedia Educational Game Design

Jackie Calderwood

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    431 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper traces the research and development of a prototype transmedia game designed to raise awareness in young people of the issues surrounding homelessness. In Coventry the number of people in temporary accommodation has doubled in the 12 months up to March 2018 and those accepted as homeless has risen by over 50% to 964. Across the UK, homelessness is on the sharp increase and Shelter note a 59% increase in the number of homeless children in the past five years. This research project, positioned in relation to Coventry’s status as City of Culture 2021, addresses the question of how gamification and methodologies from artistic practice can provide capacity to intervene in the representational apparatus attached to those living on the margins of society and cast as ‘social abjects’.
    From its inception during a workshop with students to address social issues via gamification, this transmedia research project innovates mechanisms by which to place the agency of target communities at the centre of the design and production process. Through a partnership instigated with local charity Coventry Cyrenians, creative focus groups were used to collect real-life testimonies from Coventry’s homeless and ex-homeless. Secondary school students engaged, via Cyrenian outreach, in the early stages of development and subsequently to user-test the prototype games. University students also made significant contributions to the project development.
    The author will discuss the nature of collaboration and the emergent forms of co-creative participation within the project, and how such engagement informed the game mechanics, components and strategies of play as well as providing content for the game. Findings will be presented from the initial testing of prototype board- game, evaluated via a mixed methods approach. The model of engagement offers affordances for re-use as a transcontextual and transdisciplinary tool in games development.
    A concluding discussion will assess the impact to date and potential for future development as traditional board-game with educational resource pack, and hybrid forms of personal or group game that may be delivered via mobile or web-based technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Game Based Learning
    EditorsLars Elbaek, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
    Place of PublicationReading, UK
    PublisherAcademic Conferences International
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9781912764389
    ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-38-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019
    Event13th European Conference on Games Based Learning - The University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
    Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
    Conference number: 13

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
    ISSN (Print)2049-0992


    Conference13th European Conference on Games Based Learning
    Abbreviated titleECGBL
    Internet address


    • Gamification
    • Board-game
    • monopoly
    • Homelessness
    • Co-creativity
    • Cyrenians
    • Monopoly

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Software
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Education
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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