Under Pressure

Serious game

The Under Pressure game has been developed as part of the Under Pressure teaching programme. It combines peer education and serious gaming to kickstart a conversation about digital citizenship, online manipulation, and important democratic values like freedom of press and freedom of speech.

under pressure

About the game

In Under Pressure, students step into the shoes of those who spread disinformation. We challenge them to spread as much fake news and disinformation as possible, collect as many online followers as possible and shout as loudly as possible online. By doing this once themselves in a protected environment, students learn in an active way the different tactics that are regularly used to spread disinformation.

Backed by science

The origin of the game is in social psychology and is based on the principle of inoculation. According to this theory, people can build up resistance to misleading and untrue news reports when they are confronted with a weaker version, comparable to how vaccines work. Hence, people will build up resistance and will become immune more quickly to disinformation that they are confronted with in real life. This is what we call pre-bunking (or pre-emptive debunking) as they can be one step ahead of disinformation: if you learn to look more critically at news reports and not just accept them without thinking, then there is also no need to take action after the event.

Credits

The Under Pressure methodology is developed in the context of the PEGAP education project. PEGAP (Peer Education and Gamification Against Polarisation) is a European project, co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and Fonds21. The programme and methodology were developed and tested in the Netherlands by Diversion and DROG, and will be implemented in several European countries after the testing phase.

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