Play The City

Serious Games for city development

As Play the City, we see cities as complex systems. Modelling the cities into games with simple and evolving rules, defined constraints, multiple players with complementing and conflicting targets, 3D physical models as play setting, and datasets as game props has been delivering a good tool for city design. In short, we see gaming as a proper method to understand cities and act as an architect and urbanist.
Solid borders of established disciplines such as architecture and urban planning are rapidly blurring into disciplines like game design, cognitive sciences, film and animation more than ever.

Play the City is a young foundation aiming to introduce city gaming into official planning and city design procedures.

City making by play
Play the City is a tool that supports decision makers in exploring possible scenarios and testing their ideas against real end users, entrepreneurs, and investors. Play the City’s games are not meant to replace legal plans, but strengthen such design and planning processes by involving crowds. Our aim is to generate online local communities as a new infrastructure to evolve and maintain static masterplans. Masterplans are problematic in respect to time. They require a long process before legalization and quickly become outdated (often times at the time of realization). Play the City games take this aspect of citymaking as a challenge to handle.
To reach its goals, Play the City is designing games for local governments, influential cultural organizations, or housing corporations. These games typically provide a common interface to create for professionals, stakeholders and citizens. We opt for a planning and design system where gaming is used intensively before, during and after legal plans are made. This way, gaming could provide input for new plans and evolve existing plans by creating real-time input of a city’s complex agents. Carefully modelling interaction of engaged players and their powers, being involved with those parties throughout the entire process, and designing interactive formats for the collective intelligence to evolve, the urban form can be an alternative stance in positioning today’s designer.
Entrepreneurs, active end users with plans, as well as policy makers, designers, planners, housing corporations, developers and investors related to an urban question gather. By role playing and following simple rules adapted from reality, they evolve collective future scenarios by negotiating, collaborating, as well as conflicting with one another.