Main

Europe 2045 is a multi-player, on-line strategy game, designed to be supporting educational material for social science courses, attempting to familiarize players with political, economic and social issues in a united Europe and the present-day world. Apart from learning facts, the player should develop a range of key skills: the ability to discuss, to negotiate, to think critically, and to work in a team.

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Europe 2045 features three layers of game-play. In the game, each student (1) represents one EU member state and defines its domestic policy (beginning with tax levels and environmental protection and graduating on to issues such as legalization of same sex marriage and privacy protection policies). Also, the player offers subsidies designed to persuade domestic and foreign investors to invest in his/her country. On a diplomatic level (2), the player has an opportunity to present drafts for policy changes to the EU. At the beginning of the match, the situation closely copies the real state of affairs in Europe today. The players are free to cancel current policies or to introduce new ones. Additionally (3) players face various simulated scenarios and crises addressing contemporary key issues faced by the unified Europe, including migration, population aging, international relations, and energy independence. The players must react to all these events and, in co-operation with fellow players, seek out appropriate solutions. During the course of the game, they typically witness the short- and long-term effects of their decisions.

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Moreover, each player (or team of players) has his or her own project to try to push through at the European level. A project is basically a vision of how the EU should look like in the future (e.g., the Green Europe project supports environmental protection and investment into alternative power resources, while the Conservative Europe project strives to preserve traditional values). The final appearance of Europe at the end of each match is thus a result of discussions, voting, and intense diplomatic negotiations in a given player group. The discussions take place in the classroom, where they are moderated by the teacher. Supplementary information, which is both relevant for success in the game and which summarizes the real world information, is provided by hints and the in-game encyclopedia.

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Technically, the game is a client-server application; the students play the game via the Internet. The server part comprises PHP scripts generating the game interface, the story manager is written in PHP as well, and the social-economical simulation is written in Java. Almost all parts of the interface are programmed in Flash in order to make the game suitable to technological equipment standards in Czech secondary schools and make it ready to use without the need of special installations by end-users.