Opportunities and challenges of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion


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Presentation of issues and findings from the IPTS-IBBT study of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion (DGEI)

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  • [1] PWC estimate of global digital games market value 2010. [2] Economic and Social Impact of Software & Software-Based Services Smart 2009/0041
  • Defense sector (Customer – the public sector) is the most developed. Important market for innovation and to find how to engage and train young people Info and Comms – advertising to young people – use a game, almost mainstream. New game-like apps for marketing – e.g. 3D environments etc Corporate training – a huge market and growing – quality elearning products.
  • IDATE 2012 serious game report
  • Elaborated by IDATE report Alvarez et al 2012
  • Opportunities and challenges of Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

    1. 1. Joint Research CentreThe European Commission’s in-house science service 1
    2. 2. Digital Games for Empowerment & Inclusion (DGEI)DGEI Stakeholder Workshop, 16th September 2012, BrusselsChallenges and OpportunitiesJames StewartJRC-IPTS, Information Society UnitJan Van Looy IBBTThe views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the EC 2
    3. 3. Introduction to DGEI1. Social Exclusion2. Practice3. Theorical Framework4. Supply industry and markets5. Opportunties and Challanges for DGEI6. Potential Actions 3
    4. 4. Social Exclusion: a Key Concept in European Policy • 23% of the EU’s population is considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion (EUROPE 2020 TARGETS) >110m • Poverty risk for the unemployed is particularly high at 45.2% • Social Exclusion is process that “is very expensive, economically counterproductive and lays a heavy social and political burden on society” Bianchi et al. (2006, p.23) • Complex and Multi-factor process: lack of basic competences, poverty, discrimination, unemployment, poor health, disability, poor access to basic services such as child-care and housing and life long learning etc“Isolated [..], individuals feel powerless and unable to take control “Isolated [..], individuals feel powerless and unable to take control over the decisions that affect their day to day lives.” (EU Council over the decisions that affect their day to day lives.” (EU Council 2004) 2004) 4
    5. 5. Empowerment & Social Inclusion“Enabling people to do what is important to them, to grow as competentsubjects who have control over their lives and surroundings” (Makinen,2006, p.381).Personal Empowerment Social InclusionAttitudes and Motivation Access to essential servicesSelf-efficacy and Self Confidence EducationSocial Support – community and family Good HousingSocial participation: social network, Health servicessocial capital. Civic ParticipationContext and personal relevance – Equityidentity reinforcement SecuritySkills and Knowledge: core skills, Employmenttransferable skills and specific skills IncomeWellness and personal coping Consumption 10/25/12 5
    6. 6. Social Inclusion PolicyKey priorities in social inclusion policies includehealth, education, skills, security, housing, employment, community development, equitable participation, and mobilityActive inclusion polices enrol multiple social inclusion actors or intermediaries to empower individuals and communities by addressing special and complex support needs• Public sector: health professionals, teachers, social workers, etc working in health, educational, employment and social services;• Third Sector, social entertprise and community: community workers, carers, family, sports and cultural 6 associations etc
    7. 7. Examples: Exclusion from the labourmarketSome people are unattractive to employers (e.g. low or unnneeded skills), have difficulties with self-employment, or are unable to work due to other responsibilities -=>unemployed, precariously employedWhich can lead to:• Dis-empowerment: loss of self-confidence and efficacy, loss of social capital, loss of identity as independent citizen.• Social exclusion low income (in some countries) material poverty, isolation, poor health, low participation in civil society Often: lowering of housing quality, homelessness, reduced access to health care, education 7
    8. 8. People with specific sets of problemsSchool Dropouts and NEETs: disengaged from education, low attainment, often due to multiple factors related to poverty and deprivation of community and family, but also mental health. Complicated with crime, drug abuse, pregnancy etc. Nothing to offer employers, cannot get into education Young people with ADHD: problems holding down a job.Young people with autism: problems with integration into workplace.Older people with chronic illness: unable to manage health (little support), unable to work and lose skills.Carers struggling to balance care and work: give up workMigrants: lack of local language skills, understanding of culture, local social capital makes finding a regular job hard.Older women wanting to re-entering the workforce : formal skills out of date, lack of confidence 8
    9. 9. Actions to support inclusion and empowermentNeed to address:Personal empowerment and participation• Personal motivation, attitudes• Skills (basic, soft, digital and general) and specific knowledge• Particular cognitive or health difficulties• Individual Participation and social capitalSocial context• Family deprivation and lack of support• Community conditions and lack of support• Employers resources and attitudes• Cultural attitudes and practicesServices and Infrastructure• Infrastructures (housing, transport, telecoms)• Quality and quantity of support from Public Services and Third Sector (health, education, housing etc)What can Digital Games do to support these processes? 9
    10. 10. Actions to support inclusion and empowermentPersonal empowerment and participation• Personal motivation, attitudes• Skills (soft, basic and general) and specific knowledge• Particular cognitive or health difficulty• Individual Participation and social capitalSocial context• Family deprivation and lack of support• Community conditions and lack of support• Employers resources and attitudes• Cultural attitudes and practicesServices and Infrastructure• Infrastructures (housing, transport, telecoms)• Quality and quantity of support from Public Services and Third Sector (health, education, housing etc)Plenty! 10
    11. 11. DefinitionsDigital games: games played using any kind of digital device but also digital play, simulations and virtual worlds building on game platforms and approaches,Game-based approaches: ways of using digital games to support instrumental outcomes1. Commercial entertainment games from leisure market (COTS)2. Special-purpose games: games not primarily for entertainment but for other instrumental purposes, e.g. training, learning, raising awareness…  Gamification: using game elements (e.g. challenge, competition, progress) in other activities3. Game Making: game making by target individuals and groups (media education, and skills development)Game Based Practices: the way that digital games approaches are integrated into broader practice and context of social inclusion interventions by social 11 inclusion actors
    12. 12. Practice: ExamplesBased on an Extensive review of games working in practice (examples beyond research) 7 game-focused cases 5 initiative or policy focused cases 12
    13. 13. DGEI applications domains in E&I (Based on empirical evidence)1. Skills, Knowledge through learning: disengaged and disadvantaged learners, improve employability and integration into society e.g. job applications, tenancy, computer skills2. Health & well-being: prevention and treatment of illness, promote healthier living e.g. healthy eating, brushing teeth, safe sex3. Civic participation: raise awareness, build communities e.g. poverty, democracy, cultural understanding 13 13
    14. 14. Issue: Youth Homelessness, Housing qualityInlivingWho: Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, 2008Aim: Raise awareness of dangers of independent living among young tenants to support inclusion, to reduce tenancy failure and save money for housing associationIntervention: F2F course on independent living – Including a Free mobile phone game to engage young people and support learning.Outcomes: successful tenancies 14 14
    15. 15. Challenge: Support Disadvantaged learnersGamestar MechanicWho: MacArthur Foundation, 2010Aim: support education through digital literacy to raising educational successIntervention: Browser-based game-design platform to be used in class or at home.Community platform, detailed qualitative and quantitative feedback on games by peersOutcomes: Improves digital and game design literacy 15 15Impact: ??
    16. 16. Challenge: Raise awareness of poverty andcivic engagement among European youthPoverty is Not a Game (PING)Who King Baudouin Foundation, 2010Intermediaries: TeachersAim: sensitise young people to issues of povertyIntervention: Classroom and home support to young people using free-to- user online browser role playing game & manual, five languagesUse: 40k online players, 5k downloadsExtended research on impact. 16 16Outcomes: high perceived learning
    17. 17. Challenge: Suicide risk and poor mentalhealthof young people At-Risk Who: Mental Health Association of New York City, 2009 Intermediaries: professors, universities Aim: improve ability of University staff to identify mental distress, prevent suicide, Intervention: training for University staff (and other educational professionals supported by commercial browser-based role playing training game Outcomes: Research shows attitudinal and behavioral 17 17 changes in staff and students
    18. 18. Challenge: Combat Extreme beliefs and social exclusionChoices and VoicesIntermediaries: Schools, West Midlands Police Department, 2008Aims: Enhance understanding among teenagers of various belief systems, social exclusionIntervention: Computer role- playing game for use in schools600 schools in Birmingham area adopted, 60k usersOutcomes: high engagement 18 18
    19. 19. Challenge: Improve educational outcomesConsolariumWho: Scottish EducationIntermediaries: Teachers and headsAim: raise levels of educational outcomes through engagingteaching techniquesApproach: Support teachers and heads to mainstream digitalgame use in classroom educationIntervention: Programme since 2006 to support teachers andsupply COTS games and game equipment in over 170 schoolsin Scotland, engaging children with products familiar from homeenvironmentOutcomes: e.g. increased scores on maths among primary 19school children in deprived areas, particular those with low
    20. 20. Challenge: NEETs and deprived communitiesIntermediary: LearnPlayIntervention 1: enhancing employability training through alternative education approach using game makingOutcomes: 100% retention over 1 year of 175 students, building confidence and motivation,Intervention 2: Community regeneration though game making (600 people reached)Intervention 3: Apprenticeships in Game development (200 apprenticeships in game 20 technology firm)
    21. 21. Practice: analysis
    22. 22. Individual Outcomes of using DGEIsPersonal empowerment – Change behaviour, raise self- esteem, copingIncrease participation, citizenship, community buildingDevelop knowledge and Core transferable & specialised skillsIncrease awareness of social exclusion among general and specific populations 22 22
    23. 23. Observations regarding case studiesBroad variety in:• Goals: learning, raising awareness, community building, empowerment• Strategies: experiencing, role-playing, training, connecting, competing, creating• Platforms: web, mobile, offline, 2D, 3D, single-, multi-player• Project sizes: small local to international multi-stakeholder initiativesBUTSocially innovative yet often isolated, temporary initiativesSketchy information, figures regarding effectiveness, impact 23 23
    24. 24. Strengths and weaknesses of 3 main approacheSpecial-purpose games + control: targeted content, learning strategies + possibility to involve stakeholders in design process - cost - distribution and sustainabilityCommercial off-the-shelf games + high production value at low cost + less stigmatizing - lack of control in terms of content, learning strategies - stakeholder reserveCo-creation of games + creative + social, participatory - work intensive, less scalable - need for expectation management 24 24
    25. 25. Inclusion Intermediaries play a key roleEducational institutions, community police, unemployment offices, social housing firms, neighborhood and community centers, poverty organizations,…Can function as• Initiators of projects• Domain experts, inform projects• Gatekeepers, able to mobilize groups at risk• Implementers: introduce, facilitate & guide use of DGEIs, incorporating games in their practice 25 25
    26. 26. Theory: Games for learning and participation
    27. 27. Why do digital gamessupport EI? (1/2)Using digital games can be…Engaging, intrinsically motivating learning, participation withoutexternal rewardsExperiential, interactive hands-on, user takes perspective,makes decisionsSocial competition, cooperation, peersupport, online communities 27 27
    28. 28. Why do digital gamessupport EI? (2/2)Using digital games can be…Creative role-play, co-creation,engagement in game communityPersonalized content adapts to level,preferences userSafe allows to experiment withoutsuffering the consequences dueto virtual nature, anonymity 28 28
    29. 29. Summary: Supporting game-based practice10/25/12 29
    30. 30. C Digital game industry, Actors in DGEI distribution, research and expertise Social inclusion Broader Society research Contribute to products ,service, expertise, research and practices B. A Empowermen Inclusion Digital Game- t and Individuals,Intermediaries based to support Attempt Practices Groups and Goal social (individuals with diverse practices inclusion supporting Communities outcomes and learning and at riskorganisations) participation Contribute Frameworks and institutional support and leadership or barriers D Institutions: Régulations, Public Policy Public service professions 30 etc
    31. 31. Production of and market in products andservices for DGEI• ‘Videogame’ industry• ‘Serious’ game industry 31
    32. 32. Video Games Industry and Market Global Video games industry is worth $56bn/year->85bn (2015) (PWC) • European markets make up 30% of world market • Major players e.g. EA have revenues of over 4bn USD • 5% of Europe Software industry; 20% of UK Interactive Media industry workforce (depending on classification) • But facing crisis and change, and European industry competing against heavily supported foreign producers. 21st C. digital game culture familiar to much of the population • NewZoo 2012 33m active gamers in UK; 21m paying gamers • 25m active games in FR; 12m paying gamers • Valuable market is Younger men • High growth in older players, driven by casual gaming 32 • Casual & mobile 50% growth in EU 2011 (NewZoo)
    33. 33. Consoles andConsoles andconventionalconventionalhandheldshandhelds100s millions100s millions PC now PC now1. Hardware1. Hardware moving moving Mobile: Mobile:2. Major2. Major online: online: New Newpublisherspublishers 1. MMOG – 1. MMOG – Handheld Handheld3. Many small3. Many small real-time real-timedevelopersdevelopers service service 1.Casual 1.Casual 2. Casual, 2. Casual, 2.Location- 2.Location-Linear valueLinear value Browser and Browser and games gameschain sellingchain selling Social Social 3.Media 3.Mediaproductsproducts Network Network integration integration etc etc10/25/12 33
    34. 34. Consoles andConsoles andconventionalconventional Freehandheldshandhelds App mium100s millions100s millions Soc stores i al l In-g ayer PC now PC now mon ame1. Hardware1. Hardware Virt eti moving moving Mobile:sation Mobile: ual2. Major2. Major online: online: NewU/ goods DA New Mpublisherspublishers Gam A 1. MMOG – 1. MMOG – ifica U Handheld Handheld3. Many small3. Many small Bad t real-time real-time ges iondevelopersdevelopers et c service service 1.Casual 1.Casual 2. Casual, 2. Casual, 2.Location- 2.Location-Linear valueLinear value Browser and Browser and games gameschain sellingchain selling Social Social 3.Media 3.Mediaproductsproducts Network Network integration integration etc etc10/25/12 34
    35. 35. Videogame industry relevance to DGEIIn general, Industry and existing professionals not interested in ‘serious’ uses: Return on investment seen as too low v.v entertainment markets.DGEI applications not seen important to innovation and growthIndirect contribution: Audiences, Platforms, Games, delivery systems, genres, and business models.Direct contribution? 1. Some consumer markets: demonstrated by Nintendo 2. SMEs have potential to diversity into less risky business in non- leisure markets 3. Image of industry very important. ‘Serious’ games and DGEI could help can improve this.Potential contribution: e.g. Enter non-leisure markets building on existing skills and platforms, provide tools and platforms to SG developers, provide and support skills development, leadership, 35 CSR
    36. 36. Non-Leisure market and a ‘Serious Games’ IndustryDoes a market and industry even exist?Constituencies of ideas and action (research, business, conferences, journals etc)• Digital Game based learning• Meaningful Play• Gamification• Accessible Gaming• Games for Good/Change• “Serious Games”• Over 10 years of research and 36 business development
    37. 37. Emerging marketsSG Market sectors Education Sector: Oldest but "low budget, low tech,Commercial Markets poor cousins of the computer gameDefence Sector industry. “ ENGAGE project.Strong market Education policy approach (US Dept of Defense $50million 5 fragmented, but v.bigyear programme of gamedevelopment for recruit training in Health and Wellness Sector:2010 ) Leading edge Professional market, Clinical trials, Consumers: Braintraining, AgingInformation and communicationssector : Advertising. Policy and Activism and Games for change:political communication. Established Community building and attitude andin the Youth market Youth and behaviour change.business Cultural sectorCorporate Training Sector: inc Tourism (cf videogames are2.2m EUR exergame for Macdonalds culture)employees on Nintendo DS) 37Gamification mainstreaming Science: citizen science innovative
    38. 38. IDATE market estimates 38
    39. 39. What could the ‘serious game’ industry and research community do for DGEI?• An ecosystem of supply and support in associated markets – Products – Services (training, customisation etc) – Tools – Research and Development• A scientific approach to games that produce instrumental outcomes• Business Models• Increased pool of skilled professionals 39
    40. 40. Important differences SG vv entertainment videogamesPublishing, Distribution and Platforms  Privacy, security more important than videogames  Distribution often via private or public procurement processesTechnology  Video games bring new technology platforms to SG  Opportunities for new technology implementation in entertainment games based base don SG research (AI, interfaces etc)Industry, skills and employment  Game designs requires specific skills, not widely available outside video game industry (in house development)  Challenge to involve game designers and business in ‘serious’ application  Challenges to train people in game design to apply this in non- game situations (e.g. gamification) 40
    41. 41. Role for Policy in ‘Serious’ Games marketSome domains with potential for impact (positive demonstrators) are not developing use, and sustainable markets are not appearingWhy?• Customers in DGEI fields often have few financial resources• Public customers face multiple barriers to develop use (standards, procurement, support etc)Public policy can address both these factors 41
    42. 42. Challenge:What could DGEI offer mainstream gamesand ‘serious games’ industry?i.e. how to get these business interested inDGEI users, for profit, research or CSR 42
    43. 43. Summary of Opportunities 43
    44. 44. Summary of Opportunities• Capitalise on culture: widespread uptake of digital games• Exploit Dynamic and innovative videogame sector• DGs have multiple strengths supporting learning and participation• Positive empowerment and inclusion outcomes from digital game-based approaches• Digital Game practices empower the gatekeeper intermediaries• A nascent ‘Serious Games’ sector is growing and developing knowledge and viability in some markets• But Evidence for these claims still anecdotal and fragmented. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness at scale 44 not clear.
    45. 45. General opportunities for policyThe social cohesion and individual and community empowerment outcomes of the availability and use of through of appropriate digital game-based practices and products;The contributions from digital gaming to the effective provision of public services meeting public policy goals, such as education, health and social welfare.Employment and growth derived from attracting, rewarding and sustaining innovation in the digital gaming industry in general, and ‘serious game’ industry in particular. 45
    46. 46. Challenges forDGEI innovation and use 46
    47. 47. Inter-dependent Challenges Barriers to Barriers to Empowerment of Empowerment of Lack of Evaluation Low awareness Low awareness Lack of Evaluation intermediaries intermediaries and Impact and Negative and Negative and Impact Assessment tools Stereotypes Stereotypes Assessment tools Lack of skills Lack of skillsLow quality andLow quality and Knowledge and Knowledge andsustainability ofsustainability of gaps and best gaps and bestDGEI projectsDGEI projects practice practice Challenge to Develop Challenge to Develop production and production and distribution capacity distribution capacityOctober 25, 2012 47
    48. 48. Need for joined up action to promote innovation, social learning and sustainabilityOctober 25, 2012 48
    49. 49. Challenges to develop a supply sector10/25/12 49
    50. 50. Challenge Example Potential actions Challenges toReshaping the game-play for non-leisure Simplify, using models from casual games design User-centred design with professionals from applicationapplications domain.Supply and integration of skills Build multi-disciplinary teams Train games design professions for serious gamedesigners and technology specialists developmentAutomating the production processes Integration and customisation of conventional game design toolsPersuading reluctant users Provide convincing evidence and demonstrations Convince SME to invest Invest in R&D Build structured local business environments as part of smart specialisation policyShaping Procurement Address issues within procurement processes to make serious game adoption easier, and as a tool to support developersInnovating business models Develop specific business models appropriate for each sector and target usersStructuring serious games industry by Support evolution towards organisation of firms and expertise that meets the needs of userstarget sectorDeveloping for all platforms Do not limit develop to the PC an browser, but build serious games for platforms such as mobile phones, tablets, TV and specialised ehealth systemsImplementing and Exploiting New Exploit novel technologies being made available on latest gaming platformstechnologies Develop and implement new technologies for specific user needs that are not available on game platforms
    51. 51. Examples of Potential actions Domains of practice Supporting industry Research 51
    52. 52. Potential action areas to realise policy goals 1/3 Actions in domains of practice: Health, defence, education and training, social inclusion etc • Promote the development and use of innovative and cost-effective solutions: experimentation (new uses); demonstrators (awareness) and impact analysis (convincing evidence) • Build distributed expertise: Identify and promote Good Practice, and Knowledge Transfer within domain specific practice networks and between domains (e.g. defence to youth training) • Develop generalised end-user intermediary awareness and skills • Develop sustainable practice through structural support to end- user intermediaries: standardisation, procurement, etc • Legitimise DGEI: Leadership from decision makers and policy • Address structural and institutional barriers, e.g. procurement October 25, 2012 52
    53. 53. Potential actions to realise policy goals 2/3Support Industry Supply of Products and services forMainstream industry DGEI• Support growth and innovation in • Support application of entertainment mainstream videogame industry in and SG products and skills to DGEI Europe to ensure overall capacity application domains by connecting• Engage mainstream videogame industry intermediaries and research industry in DGEI agenda Example actions • Joined up policy on R&D, knowledge transfer,Serious Game Industry business support, skill support, clustering etc• Support an emerging serious games • Development of Skills for industry and users industry in Europe, • Game Developers as partners in research,• e.g. , by regional industry specialisation and demonstrators policy or multi-sector regional centres of • Support specific production capacity related excellence across Europe, focusing on to DGEI user application domains (tools, growth markets and innovation skills) • Procurement of specific products and 53 services
    54. 54. Potential actions to realise policy goals 2/3Research :• Generic ‘Serious Game’ research – a ‘scientific’ approach to game design and application• Targeted studies of impact to raise awareness of potential impact of DGEI application• Connect game and application domain research• Build and share knowledge about DGEI practice, users and context including evaluation tools• Studies to indentify existing and emerging good practice• Build stronger links from research to practice and industry
    55. 55. Summary• Many opportunities  Multiple uses of games, and very active and innovative environment  Engage and empower intermediaries  Opportunities for policy in social inclusion, employment and growth, and public services• Many challenges • Low awareness and negative images • Low quality of many products, minimal high quality evidence, lack of large scale demonstrators • Difficult field of application • Systemic challenges What actions should stakeholders – industry, practice, policy and research - be taking? 55
    56. 56. Considering Opportunities Can we prioritise those which areas and approaches have most opportunity for impact and widespread use? 56
    57. 57. Considering challenges?Challenges to sustainable and Supply industryinnovative use Reshaping the game-play for non-Address underdeveloped production leisure applicationsand distribution Supply and integration of skillsEmpowerment of intermediaries designers and technology specialistsLow awareness and Negative Automating the production processesStereotypes Persuading reluctant usersTackle low quality and sustainability Shaping Procurementof DGEI projects Innovating business modelsLack of Impact Assessment tools Structuring serious games industry byKnowledge gaps and opportunities target sectorLack of skills Developing for all platforms Implementing and Exploiting New technologies 57
    58. 58. Considering ActionsWhat actions can be taken, and by whom, and when, to stimulate the effective exploitation and use of digital games to support empowerment and social inclusion? 58
    59. 59. Any questions?
    60. 60. 60
    61. 61. What can Digital Games offer to action andpolicy in the field of social exclusion andempowerment? A use perspective• Tap into game-playing culture (49% at least of 16-24 y/o play console games, UK 2012)• Game culture elements incorporated into communication (images, gamification)• Use of commercial of the shelf game products and services• Use of game device platforms (consoles, handhelds)• Use of online game platforms• Creation of specially made games• Use of game technologies, tools and engines to create games, simulators etc• Use of gameplay element (gamification)• Use of game developers (to produce products and services) 61• Use of game industry (to promote use of games)
    62. 62. Current Policy Role 62
    63. 63. Policy domain Types of actionsSupport to the Support to industry in the form of tax credits Programmes of education and training of professions to work in digitalvideo games games production.industry Regional and National policies to provide multi-dimensional structural support to the video game industry.Research and Funding of basic and applied research on digital games and all related technologies.development Funding of research on GBL, games for health etc Funding for research on digital game cultureSupport for Funding of development and innovation of digital games in a range of applied sectorsserious and applied Commissioning and supporting use of digital games in educationgames industry Commissioning of serious games and simulations especially for and by the military.and use Commissioning of ‘serious games’ for social inclusion Public procurement of games to stimulate innovation and industryRegulation Regulation of content Regulation of consumer marketsLeadership Championing the digital games industry Leading the development and use of digital games approaches in applied domains.
    64. 64. Selected EU ActivitiesCommission has Over 75 Funded Projects• Lifelong Learning Programme• Framework Programmes  Identification value of games within education  Where’s the impact?Networking  GALA (Games and Learning Alliance) NoE supported by Technology Enhanced Learning Unit, with 31 partners  SEGAN (Serious Games Network)Policy support and systemic adoption  IMAGINE (Increasing Mainstreaming of Games In Learning Policies[1])  ENGAGE (European Network for Growing Activity in Game-based learning in Education project)Safer Internet programme (DG CNECT) has addressed safety in online games since 2005. 64MEDIA programme treats VGs as secondary works, but changing