An epic journey

Looking back: Developing the foundation

Looking back on the first year of EPIC-WE, we have already come a long way. We had our first cultural game jams, we had our year 1 meet-up in Óbidos, and we had our first successful project review – enabling us soon to share our first project reports and publications with you all.

Looking back, we also had a year of investigations and discussion to lay the foundation and build the initial framework of the whole project. We have conceptualized – and put into research and practice – the 5 core concepts of EPIC-WE: 1) Quadruple helix cultural innovation, 2) Cultural Hubs, 3) Cultural Game Jams, 4) Game-making as culture-making, and 5) games through/for culture. We look forward to sharing the research results and the innovative practices emerging from the first year of the project in the near future.

Finally, we have worked diligently to formulate, design, and operationalize the EPIC-WE cultural ecosystem on the macro, meso and micro level: A) On the macro level, local EPIC-WE partners from creative industries, cultural heritage, higher education and youth have teamed up to ‘meet in the middle’ in cross-sector Cultural Hubs to imagine, innovate and investigate together. B) On the meso level, these ‘meetings in the middle’ have resulted in Cultural Hubs co-creating and co-hosting Cultural Game Jams for young people to engage in game-making as a form of culture-making. C) On the micro level more than 100 young people have participated in Cultural Game Jams with cultural heritage institutions and creative industries, using cultural heritage as game-making material (games through culture) resulting in the creation and exhibition of more than 30 games for culture. We are excited to share the first version of the EPIC-WE cultural ecosystem with the world, hopefully inspiring others to set up Cultural Hubs, host Cultural Game Jams and empower young people to game jam in cultural heritage institutions and making games through/for culture.

Looking ahead: Engaging the wider world

Looking ahead into the next year in EPIC-WE, we are excited to engage the wider world across a range of activities. From sharing the research results from our extensive literature review and analysis of the first game jams in WP2, to publishing the first version of the Cultural Game Jam Kit openly and under creative commons in WP3, to inviting the world into our Cultural Game Jams in WP4, to launching the EPIC-WE Resource Website and Games Collection in WP5, to offering Spotlight Session webinars with world-leading experts and cross-sector Masterclasses in WP6, to sharing the EPIC-WE presentations, publications and reports under open access on the EPIC-WE project site in WP7.  

We are also now curiously reaching out to offer guidance and support for everyone that might be interested in setting up external cultural hubs or cultural game jams. And eager to engage in conversations with ‘kindred spirits’ and ‘sister projects’ to become even more epic through joining forces and working together. We hope the ‘epic we’ will not just be us but be for everyone interested in playing along. So, let’s ‘meet in the middle’ and empower each other!

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