he public space is dreaming. By its untapped size, its accessibility and its urban vibrancy, we find an extraordinary potential for appropriation that can be transformed into a great playground. It is this desire and opportunity to appropriate the public space that provides much of its vitality. And more particularly, it is often by gamification processes that the public space becomes playful, alive and unifying.
Let’s discover the future
An example of the most powerful of the gamification of public space is the game ” Find the Future ” that will organize the now more than famous Jane McGonical ( also, I begin to worship him ) at the New York Public Library. Jane McGonical is the one who believes that the game will save humanity and tries to make sense of these hours spent playing … but, it is also a big fan of public libraries!
“Find the Future” is a collaborative writing game that brings together 500 people in the library for one night. From 100 artefacts chosen by the masters of the game, teams of eight players will have to make a hundred quests available via QR codes. The quests will require players to submit content in the form of text and images that will create a collaborative publication at the end of the game night. The mechanics of the game force the collaboration between players and invite them to use their creativity to complete the quests
« Those libraries literally changed my life! They helped me get into graduate school … ”
– Jane McGonical
An example? After discovering Thomas Jefferson’s declaration of independence, the teams will be asked to propose their own change to the statement.
According to Jane McGonical, this game really has one goal: “To change players to be super-power and optimistic with real skills and real ideas that will help them change the world.”
What a masterful idea! Besides, it’s a fan of libraries …
In addition, after this night of play that will take place on May 20, a free application called ” Biblion: The Boundless Library ” will be available for free on smart phones.
o appropriate the public space
In addition to having educational wills, the gamification of the public space makes it possible to give life to a neighborhood, to bring the residents together in a less hierarchical and structured social order. Just like the library, streets, buildings and parks, when playful, tend to become a healthy and formative living environment.
Some examples that I take on the left and on the right:
Mount Royal: The recreation of the Tuque War
Tourisme à Montréal: A treasure hunt and riddles
Boulevard Charest in Quebec City: the video game company Beenox that projects performances of its next games on buildings
MagiQuest: In the United States, augmented reality role plays where young people take the role of magician
Jazz in Montreal: Soundtracks to explain Miles David’s life
These are just a few examples of the hundreds of projects that try to make life more enjoyable through gamification processes . If anyone knows of a game or similar project that has taken place, it would be nice to let them know.
The scenic interpretation in the public space, another form of play
The gamification of the play area is also flash mob which are scenic performances in public spaces. Like the one at the Seattle Public Library that made its appearance on the web this week:
And artistic appropriation through play?
More and more scenic art or digital art is integrating into the public space. Interactive art where participants create the experience.
In this regard, I love artistic creations that highlight the gamification of reality. A Quebec artist has created this masterpiece of 8-bit attack on the city of New York that I propose in conclusion: