noreenblanluet's picture

Just read this article: How we got Glasgow playing in the streets again

"People still love to play on the street – but sometimes it takes careful design to get them started, as we found out while creating Scotch Hoppers for the Glasgow 2014 Games."

Some interesting thoughts from the game designer, particularly about permission (especially creating permission to speak for itself when there are no facilitators present) and appearance (make a game that doesn't look like it is designed for children, which could put off adults.

Link to the article on the Design Council website:

Videos and more details about the game itself, Scotch Hoppers:

Heather Kelley's picture

Day 4: October 31, 2013

Today I finished the writing for our (as yet unnamed) game about the abandoned buildings of Tiger Bay. My task was to write some dialogs as if I was speaking in the voice of the building. After we chose our locations, I did some research about each one online, to learn about what they had been, and what they might become in the future. My research even took me on a short walk over to the Butetown History and Arts Centre (BHAC) to pick up a copy of Harry “Shipmate” Cooke’s mid-20th-century memoir How I Saw it: A Stroll Thro’ Old Cardiff Bay, to try to get a sense of the voice of the place in its heyday.

Even though I’m a non-local in the extreme (being an American) I wanted to capture an authentic sounding voice without being too corny. And of course I wanted the actors to be able and willing to adapt the dialog to their natural speech patterns and senses of humor. For the first two buildings (which are the first two game levels) we sourced the talent locally, right in-house at Play:DO. Our very own Mog (@mog4) voiced the old Train Depot: Train Station Story (wav, 310kb)

Heather Kelley's picture

DAY 2: October 29, 2013

The presentation today by Rosa Robinson (@Rosa_R) got my team thinking about the relationship of social change to the senses – and for me it was particularly our sense of smell, since that’s the one I’ve been learning about and working with lately. We know that exposure to natural things and places has a healing effect on the human psyche. So, to what degree does smell play a part in that recuperation? And how can we bring it into playful experiences? It doesn’t seem adequate to simply take an otherwise completely digital experience and “add smell” (say in the form of a perfume substance) and claim that now it’s healthier. But on the other hand, there is new evidence that calming smells really do lower our stress. So maybe a “fake” smell can have “real” effects and I shouldn’t discount that possibility.

Image of Cardiff fish market courtesy of

Jorge Lizalde's picture

Two days since Play ARK 2013 Festival and Play:Do Hack week finished.

And what a week had been. Laughing on my own with the flashbacks.

I would like first to thank you Allison and Julian as I know how much they have been working for the last four years to make this festival happen, without forgetting obviously Natalie, she is as much important.

They have created a yearly cultural landmark in Wales and UK in a economic worldwide crisis period and when cultural budget cuts have been implemented. Not an easy task when you are not attached to any cultural institution and carry on with them the keywords "Game" and "Fun", enemies of any funding. As the French would say, "Chapeau".

The week had its ups and downs as any creation periods, maybe magnified because it was a collaborative process. But, all in all, I haven't had so much fun for a while and if you ask me to do it again, I would be the first one.

Ravi Thornton's picture

I’m back home in Manchester now, after a crazily wonderful week in Cardiff. A huge thanks to thinkARK and yello brick for making it all happen, and fingers crossed it runs again next year for another nine lucky individuals to benefit from this significant opportunity.

Benefit we certainly have. Just to recap: nine hackers split into three teams, each having to build a complete ‘playful experience’ in three days, in response to the brief ‘RECLAIMED’.

Team One – Heather, Mog and Jorge – built their searching project FRACTURED MEMORIES, whereby solving different levels of a puzzle took you deeper down memory lane. Though there were definite frustrations along the way, this idea of navigating such a sensory and evocative journey is really beautiful, and I think Heather, Mog and Jorge did an awesome job in trying to realise it.

Team Two – Andrew, Steve and I – built WORLD JOURNEY, a more ambient experience where participants were invited to create images using their mobile phones and upload them to our constantly updating and evolving storyboard. The story for this particular week was designed to provoke reflection on our place in the world.

John Collingswood's picture

wow, what a great week that was.

MASSIVE thanks and WELL DONE to everybody involved for making it such a positive experience.
Julian, Ali and Nat kept smiling throughout, despite the uphill struggle to organise everything - workspace, socialising, schedule, conference and festival. and those damn wifi codes.
it was great to meet the whole team of hackers, and a particular joy to get to work with Ben and Kev on our little project.
i'm glad we kept the project simple, using already-existing tech and re-contextualising it for our benefit.

the PlayARK day yesterday at WMC was buzzing, despite the weather. our PlayDance booth had around 100 people using it, from the ages of 2 to 62, and it generated a smile on all faces. i didn't get chance to go up to TeamOne's installation but i heard really good feedback about it. TeamTwo's web app was looking good all day, and constantly updating - i'd like to spend more time with the archive and witness how the story changes with different users' input.

now we've got this little network, we should try to find ways to utilise it. Jorge has set up a dropbox folder to share memories of the week - which encouraged me to find a way of hacking simultaneous dropbox accounts on my mac. (thanks: Daniel Mann) and maybe we can connect in different ways.

hope to see you all soon,

john x

Ravi Thornton's picture

In my last post, having announced the name of our Team Two project as WORLD JOURNEY, I asked for feedback on what that name made people think of. We wouldn't really want a name that wrong-footed people, or gave them false expectations.

And I guess an interpretation of these words could be anything, from the universal Big Bang through to inter-railing! So when this feedback came in from Angela Gorman, I was over the moon:

"World Journey
Made me think of your Team 2 work stimulating such a strong collective consciousness that it spreads from the PLAY DO Hack Week across the city, the uk and beyond.... and takes us all on a sub-conscious world journey.... it made me think of the bond we share with all human life across the world.... all going through a journey with many similarities."

Yup. That pretty much hits the nail on the head :)

Day 4 yesterday was ultra-focus-head-down-day as we raced to finish everything up for this morning, including the presentations we'll be giving later today as part of the playARK Festival talks. There's a great line up of speakers and a hugely innovative flavour to the range of their talks. It'll be inspiring to see where 'play' of the kind we've been exploring this week is heading in its development; and interesting to think about how WORLD JOURNEY might fit in to this exciting arena.

Jorge Lizalde's picture

We are nearly reaching the end of one of the longest weeks I have lived for a while.
I look so dreadful that I didn't need any costume on my way back home and decided to join some kids
for some "Trick or treat?" that boosted my energies. But, all in all, really happy of how the week and the project is developing.

Right now I am preparing some slides for our presentation tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile here I leave you some of the pictures and videos from today:

playARK Hack Week 2013, Day 4

Halloween Distractions

playARK Hack Week 2013 Day 3

Praying to the Gods

Kevin Moss's picture

So another day finished. A really fantastically enjoyable creative day.

Day Three was about simplicity for me. We have our idea and now we are looking at way to simplify it. This has been from both a message point of view, what will people see, do, interact. And a practical level, in the time we have what can we do. And with the skill sets we have what is possible. (from a skillset point of view our technical knowledge is letting us down) we spent a lot of the day wrestling with trying to get around the fact Vine doesn't have an open API - boo vine booo. We spend some of the day asking Andrew what an API was. And the rest of the day working out hacks to get around the thing we hoped Vine would let us do. is amazing.

So we have a plan, we have everything in place. Day Four, we make.


we have a logo. Which has made Julian laugh, laugh nervously.

I also have learnt some people can casually say "I'll get the jig-saw out tonight and sort that out" which is very similar to "That's just a simple bit of javascript to get that to loop"

Ravi Thornton's picture

Yesterday was Day 3 of our playARK ‘hackathon’ here in Cardiff. Despite the fact I had to pause every 8.4 seconds to sniff/sneeze/blow my nose/try not to breathe on anyone, it was a another highly productive day that raced by with exciting, but also rather perturbing speed. ‘Office’ hours for us this week are 10-6, but I’m fairly certain every single one of us is working round the clock to ensure we deliver our projects on time. The pressure is on!

Guest speaker was Lisa Matthews from the Arts Council of Wales, which really got us thinking about what we do with our projects after this week? Is there life after playARK?

Day 4 today involves tying things up, testing and devising our presentations for the festival’s day of talks tomorrow. So with a little bit of luck, and if this stoopid cold doesn’t kill me, in my next post I’ll be able to explain more about what our Team Two project actually is.

‘WORLD JOURNEY’ is what we’ve decided to call it. How does that sound to you? What does it make you think of? All thoughts are very welcome :)

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