St Petersburg's Marble Palace provided a stunning backdrop to a fascinating and wide-ranging array of talks at the 2017 International Spatial Development Forum. I was invited to give a talk on the 'Playing the City' panel, looking at how games and game culture can affect our urban environments - for better or for worse.
Moderated by Associate Professor at ITMO University, the panel discussion focused around the analysis of the existing in urban environment problems, architecture and also matters of public space development. Noting that cities are at the heart of today's digital innovations, our panel discussed how more companies and governments are implementing mobile gaming technologies into urban management and administration. The fact that game platforms can be easily accessed by urban dwellers and concerned parties, combined with crowdsourcing, makes them a useful if not essential tool for urban planning and public participation, bringing the initial meaning of the cities as the platforms for role multiplayer games.
My talk centered around the use of Minecraft as a tool for public participation and community engagement. Easy to learn and use, Minecraft not only attracts a younger audience to public space consultations, but helps them communicate their ideas with other age demographics by giving them a platform for their design ideas.