NIFFF 2012: User Participation and Urban Space

David Boy (

Uses consumer electronics, everybody has and can use, no computers, no mobs, but rather mp3-players and stuff with RFID-tags.

Schwellenland (2009 Vienna)

  • started with the statement : this is a game
  • its about being an (il)legal alien
  • there are different types of players: guards, runners, smugglers, mediators
  • the runners burn their papers and now have the status of paperless immigrants
  • they use real “real” fake people, actors are credible as fellow immigrants, but still actors
  • because the game was 10 days, every day, it was hard for people with regular jobs to participate

Daniel says that for him games are not fun but instill meaning.

RUHZilla (which is top secret and will be later this year)

  • in Ruhrgebiet
  • about monsters (aliens), which are slowly moving in since the 70ties, as above it is about immigration but on a more abstract level
  • there are very small (virtual) monsters and very big ones
  • Phase 1: players claim the monsters with coins
  • Phase 2: the hunters move in and large battles (probably in the woods) are planned between the hunters and the preservers
  • Also in phase 2 there is a weighted political struggle, to help late comers the points you can get are increased exponentially over time
  • Phase 3: one monster dies -> back to the theater, were a burial happens (maybe resulting in monster soup?)

This at least, is the plan, which isn’t fixed yet.

Schwellenland was 10 days and this long and intensive play time, did hinder a lot of people to participate. Also Daniel felt that they were exploiting the actors, so RUHZilla is tweaked to make a easier participation possible and use less actors.


Q: How do you draw your audience, were is the fun part that engages people

A: You can draw in people with a new experience. They are public founded so a large number of players is not required. Then there is a discussion about the definition of fun. Daniel states that games don’t need to be fun, the Q guy says every thing that engages people is fun. hey decide to disagree on this point.

Q: game mechanic

A: A Schwellenland example : there is a lot of Tupperware involved, there are people sitting in the part and eating from Tupperware and the runners need to get hold of the Tupperware and maybe bring it to a specific location to get points. The game is not about winning, but about not loosing ( your papers)