Frontex Files Games – immersive serious games created by Transplanisphère and Förderband
Since May 2021, the European Integrity Games project is in a new phase of educational game creation. Transplanisphere (France) and Förderband (Germany) are working on the design of escape games and 3D games exploring the subject of the Frontex Files!
Reminder of the project
This project brings together six European artistic companies: France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Combining art, citizenship and new technologies, it aims to question the notions of integrity, corruption and fraud in our societies, through the design of serious games. Seven topics are explored through these games: blockchain and money laundering, food chains, Frontex Files, e-governance, lobbying and wind turbines, integrity in public service and communication in health.
Each of these topics is explored through two types of innovative and free educational games:
Escapes games to be played in a collaborative group, accessible to all European citizens thanks to a turnkey kit that can be downloaded from the internet
3D games to be played individually on a computer
The project also includes additional educational resources with interviews with experts, European workshops to test the games and train participants in their implementation, and promotional events.
The project is supported by Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships and by the City of Paris in the framework of the Paris Europe 2021 Label.
Frontex Files games
After the creation of games on Blockchain by La Transplanisphère (France), Ohi Pezoume (Greece), games on Food Chains by ExQuorum (Portugal) and Ortzai Teatro (Spain), the partners are now focusing on the theme of Frontex Files.
La Transplanisphère (France) and Förderband (Germany) are collaborating on a 3D computer game and an escape game, exploring integrity issues related to Frontex.
Discovering Frontex and its challenges
Established in 2004, Frontex is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency responsible for controlling and protecting the EU’s external borders.
Financed by the European Union and the associated countries of the Schengen area, it has benefited in recent years from a major budget increase that makes it the European agency with the largest budget.
With its growing role in the European landscape, many NGOs and MEPs are expressing concerns about the Agency’s functioning and increasing responsibilities. Its operations, actions and functioning raise important questions, particularly in terms of human rights, integrity and transparency.
As the issue of European borders, migration and human rights is at the heart of current concerns, the project partners wanted to explore this complex subject in depth. Using reports from NGOs, the European Commission and testimonies, they aim to popularise the issues associated with Frontex and to raise awareness among European citizens.
The objective of these games is to give players an overview of the different issues related to Frontex. To provide a range of perspectives and aspects of the agency’s operations, with regard to integrity and human rights issues.
By offering an immersive experience in which the player becomes an actor in these issues, the partners hope to touch citizens on an emotional level and thus stimulate their interest and desire to learn more about the subject.
An immersive and educational scenario
The games offer players the role of a private detective working at the headquarters of the European Frontex agency in Warsaw.
In the morning, the headquarters’ emergency alarm was triggered for mysterious reasons. A few minutes later, the electricity was cut off and the building was plunged into darkness. All Frontex staff had to leave the building in a hurry. In the confusion, six people did not leave and are missing, probably still in the building. With Frontex being watched by the press and governments due to recent controversies and the head of Frontex being on a business trip, the head of security decided to solve the case as discreetly as possible. He or she calls in a private detective – played by the player – to find the missing persons and find out what happened as quickly and discreetly as possible.
To carry out this investigation, the player will have to explore the different rooms of the Frontex building and collect clues. He/she will have to search the rooms, solve puzzles and talk to characters. Each room of the building deals with a particular aspect or issue of Frontex (budget and recruitment issues, biometrics, drones or human rights). By exploring each of these rooms, the player will not only progress in his or her investigation but will also discover these different issues and learn more thanks to the educational information scattered throughout the rooms. With this scenario, the partners want to provide an overview of the functioning of Frontex and the issues involved.
A collaborative process to create two educational games
Transplanisphere and Förderband worked together to write this scenario, drawing on numerous resources such as European Commission audit reports, NGO alert files and Agency documents.
Based on this information, the partners designed two games:
A 3D game developed on Unity 3D software, with the technical support of the association Ikigai Games, which accompanies and advises La Transplanisphère on the technical aspects of the game’s development
A board game – escape game, to be played in groups, composed of a board representing the Frontex building, clues to be hidden in the room, meeting cards with characters and puzzles to be solved.
Do you want to learn more about Frontex and find out if you are up to the task? Then come to February 2021 for a European workshop organised by The Transplanisphere!
This will be an opportunity to beta test the games, get some initial feedback and train the participants in the implementation of these games.