Participation game

Reflections on the iterative design process





case study, iterative design, role-play, serious game, urban design


Civic engagement in decision-making concerning the built environment has become a widely acknowledged practice. Today this is no longer about the dilemma of civic engagement, but rather about the best strategy for the purpose. Games and gamified applications are gaining popularity as efficient tools for civic engagement, which attract and retain participants, as well as foster learning and experimentation. The article presents the case of a role-play urban design game, Participation Game, which was developed in the iterative design process. The initial prototype of the game was transformed from session to session based on the player feedback, collected through questionnaires and debriefings, as well as the analysis of video recordings of game sessions. The overarching goals of the game were, firstly, to familiarise the audience with public hearings of urban design related projects, and, secondly, to find out how the changes in the setup of the game influence the player experience and the outcomes. The findings indicate that game setup limits the opportunities for discussion, and might even steer it towards desirable (for game authors) outcomes.




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