The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

“Detroit: Become Human” as an Asset for Education to Inclusivity

Mauro Colarieti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)


This presentation examines the educational utility of "Detroit: Become Human" in promoting inclusivity, citizenship, and player agency. Through its immersive narrative and detailed world-building, this 2018 game navigates a futuristic society where androids develop free will as a bug and embrace their identity as a community, fighting for their rights and freedom. These complex themes regarding the representation of minority groups and civil rights, prompt players to confront moral dilemmas and consider the societal implications of their choices. By leveraging interactive storytelling, educators can engage students in critical discussions about social justice and ethical decision-making thanks to a narrative design that counts over 2000 pages of script [1], and a use of metaphors that make the. This presentation suggests an integration of these games with branching narratives into curricula, empowering students to explore issues of race, class, and power dynamics,
while also digging into experiments that used this title (and others too) for social experiments. Although mainly there have been studies on the use of VR for these educational goals [2], [3], some research on the use of story-driven videogames as a new tool for education to inclusivity has appeared [4]. Moreover, “Detroit: Become Human” highlights the role of player agency in shaping narrative outcomes, fostering participatory citizenship in democratic societies. Through interactivity and replayability, players gain insights into the transformative potential of digital media, in which games like “Detroit: Become Human” help subjects in cultivating empathy, critical thinking, and civic engagement.
Keywords: game-based learning; moral education; branching narratives; player agency; inclusivity 
[1] Connoly D. Detroit: Become Human Script Is Huge at 2000 Pages., 2017 Jun 14;
[2] Chen VHH, Ibasco GC, Leow VJX, Lew JYY. The Effect of VR Avatar
Embodiment on Improving Attitudes and Closeness Toward Immigrants. Front Psychol. 2021 Oct 15;12:705574. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.705574.
[3] Mado M, Herrera F, Nowak K, Bailenson J. Effect of Virtual Reality
Perspective-Taking on Related and Unrelated Contexts. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2021 Dec;24(12):839-845. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0802.
[4] Behm-Morawitz, Elizabeth & Ta, David. (2014). Cultivating Virtual Stereotypes?: The Impact of Video Game Play on Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes. Howard Journal Of Communications. 25. 10.1080/10646175.2013.835600.


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