Game Lab: Hacking Board Games for Civic Uses at February Smart Growth Conference
GreaterPlaces and DOtankDC are hosting Game Lab at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in PDX on Feb 11 and 12 in the parklet area.
With Cards Against Urbanity, we found the value of games for explaining complex, otherwise technical concepts on city design. Moreover, the dynamics of sitting around a table with peer-to-peer conversations is way more effective than an expert in front of the room with a power point (even if that expert is among the game players at the table). We also found the included card explainers were super valuable for turning fun and games into learning.
We will be hacking two existing board games to invent game boards for teaching smart growth/new urbanist/city design concepts:
- Streetcars and Stroads – We are hacking Chutes and Ladders as people try to move from Point A to Point B
- TOD: the Board Game – We are hacking Trouble/Trivial Pursuit as players move around the board to a central point. In this case, the central point is the transit station.
For both games, there are certain methods that move you forward (pedestrian amenities, bike share) and backward (bad sidewalks, outdated transit maps). Over the two days and through social media, we are co-creating forward/backwards cards and explainers. As with CAU, humor is key!
And if all goes well, we just might take the games to production! We will have decks of Cards Against Urbanity and mockups of our new project City Design Method cards.