Serious games in sustainable urban development – Part 2

Missed Part 1? Catch up here.
Coniuncta is an interdisciplinary research team founded in Warsaw University of Technology by professor Robert Olszewski. Main goal of the team is the research on application of gamification and design thinking mechanisms in promotion of civic engagement.
Our team perceives gamification as an answer to a problem observed in implementation of participatory mechanisms (such as participatory budgeting) in Polish cities. Research conducted by the Coniuncta team is focused on identifying key gamification and serious games mechanism which could be used to foster civic engagement, as well as provide geo-reference data on public opinion on various topics and projects.
In 2015 and 2016 our team conducted series of experiments conducted in the form of workshops, held in Warsaw (capitol of Poland) and Płock (city in central Poland of c.a. 120 000 inhabitants). The workshops were organized by the Municipality of Płock for local high school students. In April and June together around 250 students took part in these workshops. Scenario of the workshop was based on the game City Hall 2.0, using map of the Płock city center and gamified model of urbanistic problems as a main narrative axis of the game’s scenario.
Analysis of the decisions in game was base for several research papers on effects of gamification in urban planning consultations process [1]. First conclusions from this project were used in design of another serious game, Spot On, in the form of mobile browser based game, using real time GPS location data, real maps (based on OpenStreet Map API) and designed for both workshop application and outdoor gameplay.
app oneapp two
Outdoor version of the application uses gamification mechanism to motivate players to visit various points in the city and leave their opinions concerning optimal changes in those places. Other players can also see those opinions and give feedback on whether they like or dislike certain solutions proposed by game community.
The Spot On game is targeted mainly to the younger players (primary school, high school and university students) as well as other people who like mobile games and travel through the city on various occasions. It’s main educational aim is to cope with first barrier mentioned in our previous post: lack of civic engagement, due to bad experiences from the past or general low level of civic activity.
Spot On promotes activity and sharing opinions in the urban context, and presents them as fun and easy activity, and part of engaging narrative of the game. In consequence the game is meant to build positive attitude to social participation in the targeted age group, which in few years will actively take part as urban citizens in various consultations and participatory projects.
Spot On is currently undergoing final testing and finalization of development phase, and will be launched in January in series of workshops in Warsaw and Dublin.
[1] Łączyński, M., Olszewski, R., Turek, A., Urban Gamification as a Source of Information for Spatial Data Analysis and Predictive Participatory Modelling of a City’s Development, [w:] DATA 2016 Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Data Management Technologies and Applications, Science and Technology Publications, Lda. Lizbona 2016, s. 176–182.