Games and Serious Games in Urban Planning: Study Cases


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Games and Serious Games in Urban Planning: Study Cases
Alenka Poplin - HafenCity University Hamburg

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Games and Serious Games in Urban Planning: Study Cases

  1. 1. Games and Serious Games in Urban Planning: Study Cases Alenka Poplin HafenCity University, Hamburg Germany, Europe
  2. 2. Motivation <ul><li>Our work on the concept of a playful public participation (PPP): public participation which central part is play. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis: Implementation and further develpment of the PPP concept will lead to overcoming the isses of rational ignorance and attract more citizens in participatory activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Rational ignorance in urban planning: The citizens decide to ignore the possibility of involvement and participation | they are rationally ignorant. </li></ul><ul><li>public choice theory (Buchanan and Gordon, 1962) </li></ul>Alenka Poplin
  3. 3. Playful Public Participation <ul><li>Elements of a playful public participation: </li></ul><ul><li>Play and game </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling: sophisticated multimedia storytelling including 3D visualisations, voice, music and virtual reality </li></ul><ul><li>Walking and moving: movable planning (Rottenbacher 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing and sketching: argue maps (Rinner 2001), georeferenced drawings </li></ul>© Rottenbacher 2004
  4. 4. Many Definitions of „Game“ <ul><li>David Parlett (1961) makes a distinction between the formal and informal game. </li></ul><ul><li>An informal game is undirected play. </li></ul><ul><li>A formal game has a two-fold structure based on ends and means: </li></ul><ul><li>Ends: a context to achieve an objective (to win). Only one of the players can achieve it. </li></ul><ul><li>Means: an agreed set of equipment and of procedural „rules“ by which the equipment is manipulated to produce a winning situation. </li></ul>See some more in: Salen K. and E. Zimmerman, Rules of Play (2004) Alenka Poplin
  5. 5. Many Definitions of „Game“ <ul><li>C. Abt (1970) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Reduced to its formal essence, a game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context . A more conventional definition would say that a game is a context with rules among adversaries trying to win objectives”. </li></ul>Abt, C., Serious Games, New York, The Viking Press, 1970 Alenka Poplin
  6. 6. Serious Games <ul><li>Applying games and simulations technology to non-entertainment domains results in serious games. </li></ul><ul><li>The main idea of serious games is to get players to learn something, and, if possible, have fun doing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Applications range from education, health, public policy, strategic communication, cultural heritage, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous potential potential of serious games for urban planning; it is novel and still in the initial phase. </li></ul>Alenka Poplin
  7. 7. Online Urban Planning Games <ul><li>Entertainment games using urban planning as the main topic. </li></ul><ul><li>SimCity </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps one of the most famous urban planning games. </li></ul><ul><li>A simulation game with the main objective: to build and maintain the city and make the citizens happy by creating an optimal environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, tornados, volcanoes, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>First released in 1989, a commercial success, in 2008 the source code was released as a free software with the title Micropolis. </li></ul>The original cover from 1989
  8. 8. Online Urban Planning Games cont. <ul><li>PlastiCity </li></ul><ul><li>A computer game based on the architectonic visions and controversial suggestions of British architect Will Alsop. </li></ul><ul><li>It is focused on the Bradford city centre. </li></ul><ul><li>The players can build, demolish, repaint, rescale and rotate buildings in the city centre. </li></ul><ul><li>The representation is done in a 3D environment and supports complex interactions of the player and the game environment. </li></ul>© PlastyCity
  9. 9. Online Urban Planning Games cont. <ul><li>Urban Plans </li></ul><ul><li>An urban planning, non-competitive, simulation game. </li></ul><ul><li>The main objective is to reach the highest possible population in the city. </li></ul><ul><li>The basic city structure includes streets, green areas representing lots, blue areas representing water, in a simple layout predefined by the game. </li></ul><ul><li>The player can insert buildings and trees with a simple drag and drop functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Created in Adobe Flash environment. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Online Urban Planning Games cont. <ul><li>City Creator </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to Urban Plans | represents a non-competitive kind of a game. </li></ul><ul><li>The game starts with instructions on how to play the game and a decision for one of the four possibilities displayed in the right field of the game. </li></ul><ul><li>The player can drag and drop the elements of the city in the environment of the game. </li></ul><ul><li>The icons show different kinds of buildings; they are colourful and represented in 3D. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Online Urban Planning Games cont. <ul><li>Super City </li></ul><ul><li>Created in Adobe Flash | available online for free. </li></ul><ul><li>The player can build homes and shops and gain money and population. </li></ul><ul><li>The economy is involved as well. </li></ul><ul><li>In some versions of the game, the player has to pay a bill of $ 800 every five days. </li></ul><ul><li>The enemies sometimes attack the city and the player has to fight the enemies. </li></ul><ul><li>Every fight costs $ 500. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook version of the game is available. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Research Goal <ul><li>Our main research goal was to concentrate on the design of a serious game which could possibly support the concept of a playful public participation and to implement the game in the form that can later be tested with the help of potential users. </li></ul><ul><li>The game was developed in 2009 at the HafenCity University in a student research project which lasted one year. It included an exchange with Florida Atlantic University, which helped to improve the concept of the game. </li></ul>Alenka Poplin
  13. 13. Urban Planning Situation: Billstedt <ul><li>Billstedt is a culturally mixed section of Hamburg with about 70.000 inhabitants. </li></ul><ul><li>It has a rather bad reputation, a high crime rate, unbalanced social structure, and high unemployment rates. </li></ul><ul><li>23% of the inhabitants are foreigners, and there is an extraordinary high number of children. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Billstedt Marketplace <ul><li>The marketplace in Billstedt is surrounded by a shopping centre on the north-west side and some shops and coffee houses on the east side. </li></ul><ul><li>The inhabitants of the city entering the Billstedt shopping centre pass by some old benches and some neglected trees. </li></ul><ul><li>The marketplace could </li></ul><ul><li>potentially be used for pleasant </li></ul><ul><li>activities such as enjoying a </li></ul><ul><li>coffee, playing with children, </li></ul><ul><li>reading, etc. </li></ul>
  15. 15. B3 Game <ul><li>B Bürger | Citizens </li></ul><ul><li>B Beteiligung | Participation </li></ul><ul><li>B Billstedt | Billstedt </li></ul><ul><li>The B3 Game aims at enabling the citizens of Billstedt to concentrate on the marketplace, which is the subject of public discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Design your marketplace! | Gestalten Sie Ihren Marktplatz! </li></ul><ul><li>The user interface of the game: Adobe Flash. </li></ul>Alenka Poplin
  16. 16. B3 User Interface
  17. 17. B3 Game Options
  18. 18. B3 Game: Design your Marketplace
  19. 19. Comparable Recent Developments <ul><li>Participatory Chinatown (2009/10) used in a public participatory process. The results were considered in the 2010 Chinatown master plan. </li></ul><ul><li>IBM game CityOne first introduced at the IMPACT 2010 conference in Las Vegas, labelled as a “serious game”. Users: urban planners, students, academics. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Conclusions <ul><li>Designing the B3 Game openned the whole range of questions: „how serious can a serious game in urban planning be?“ </li></ul><ul><li>Environment : How close to reality should the environment be presented in the game? </li></ul><ul><li>Urban planning topics : Shall they be taken directly from the current discussions about the changes in the city, or can this bring additional misunderstandings between the urban planners and citizens? </li></ul><ul><li>Results of the participatory process : What should happen with the results? </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating play and games in public participation is a promising research field. There is some more interesting work to be done  </li></ul>Alenka Poplin
  21. 21. &quot;Good - Let's say we agree .&quot; (Cartoon by Pierre Kroll) Thank you! [email_address]
  22. 22. Contact <ul><li>Alenka Poplin | Prof. Dr., MBA </li></ul><ul><li>HafenCity University Hamburg | </li></ul><ul><li>Computer-based Methods in Urban- and Regional Planning </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / professorinnen / alenka-krek-poplin / </li></ul><ul><li>Digital City Research Group </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Winterhuder Weg 29 | Room 214 </li></ul><ul><li>22085 Hamburg | Germany </li></ul>