On 20 April 2017 Game designer Paolo Pedercini, founder of Molleindustria, talked about the role of gaming in making better citizens and better cities. This lecture was part of the Games for Cities Conference.
City-games increasingly enter into the daily work of policy-makers, regulators, urban designers, smart city experts and architects. In his lecture Pedercini explored the multiple connections between games and urban life, finding commonalities in the systems and rules that govern behaviour in each, and in the constant negotiation of moves that are external to ones' own. He discussed his latest game, Nova Alea - the first in a series of urban themed games - and his motives behind its design. In this game, players are forced into the role of urban gentrifiers, shining a light on gentrification as a structural system of exclusion. His games are satirical and critical, always urging players to think, and exposing the dark-side of politics; and once played with, his messages are difficult to forget. The evening was moderated by Michiel de Lange.
Paolo Pedercini is a game designer specialising in social critique through apparently simple casual video games, where he integrates digital storytelling and game-based mechanics with the discursive genres of satire and propaganda. He currently teaches media production and an experimental game design class at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the founder of Molleindustria, a project of re-appropriation of videogames that since 2003 has excelled in the creation of products testing the boundaries of gaming.
Michiel de Lange
Michiel de Lange (1976) is Assistant Professor in New Media Studies at the University of Utrecht; co-founder of The Mobile City, a platform for research on new media and the city; advisor e-culture at the Media Fund; and works as a researcher in the field of (mobile) media, city and urban culture, identity and gaming.
Games for Cities Conference
This Thursday Night lecture was part of the Games for Cities Conference organised by Play the City and partners 20 and 21 April in Het Nieuwe Instituut. The conference brought Dutch city-gaming practices into closer contact with international best practices. Included keynotes on how city-gaming is the future of city-making and numerous city-game sessions.