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Stories from the world of Urban Play #2

Hi there and welcome to the Trust in Play community!

Every time we host an edition of the school we have this tradition of sharing here in the community stories about playing in public space and urban games, it’s a great way to discover new amazing projects and getting to know each others a little better. Feel free to share not only information but also a short story, it could be about your best urban project, or the time you really messed up! Or you could share what inspires you in your city or something about mysteries that is the theme of this summer intensive.

It can be a little intimidating so let me start:

My name is Matteo Uguzzoni, I live in NYC and I’m one of the organizers of Trust in Play. I love to design games that put people together, and if I’m able to do it in public space, I’m over the moon!

I’m really excited about this year’s school theme: Mysteries. I feel like it has so much potential and I’m sure that everyone is going to create amazing games.

I want to share a story about it that happened during a play-test of a game that we were hosting in Milan in 2015. The game was a sort of urban exploration and the theme was, guess what, the beginning of a zombie pandemic. I remember I was one of the characters and in the second part of the game I had to be chained in an abandoned industrial basement.

The faces of the players when they were able to find me were just incredible, some of them gave me water, tried to unchain me or just wanted to hug me, they really cared!

I think evenings and nights are a special time to create games because it’s very easy for players to imagine something extraordinary, mysterious and magical and so much fun can come out of it…so as you can guess, I’m really excited about this year’s theme and location, Elefsina with the traditions of the Mysteries it’s just perfect for creating amazing games!

We will publish the open call for it soon, if you want to apply introduce yourself here and then copy the link of this post in the application form.


Hi everyone!
Nice to be here again :slight_smile:

My name is Kiprianos, I live in Athens and I am super excited to see this amazing community come together once again! I love game design so much that the last few years I had to change my career and put it in a trajectory that would enable me to design experiences as much as I can.
Unfortunately I am not designing games (yet) but I am leaving the world of business and joining the world of product development. Starting with a problem and exploring human emotion to design a solution, is a process that is teaching me SO much, and I am hoping to hone into game design soon.

The reason I am at this point in my life is a friend of mine (let’s call him Michalis, since that’s his actual name) invited me to a game jam a few years back. This experience cascaded into the next event and the next one, meeting more and more of the most interesting and kind people I know.

A few stories stuck in my mind from this journey, but none as much as the one I want to share with you here.

It’s 2018 in one of Trust in Play’s initiatives, and we were tasked to create a game about … well, trust.
Our “we” was the most like minded and diverse group of creatives I have been part of, and we quickly came to the conclusion that we want to create a challenging experience about how trust feels like, something we could never explore without the risk of betrayal.

Inspired by Nordic LARP we created an interview-like cyclical experience. In this experience the interviewer, using a set of rules and recommendation from us, would gainbreakand regain the trust of the interviewee, who in turn would become the interviewer to the next interviewee; continuing the cycle of trust → betrayal → trust.
There are a lot of lessons I personally took from this process, but the reason this game has stuck with me came at the end of a play test.
Every play was very emotional, often ending with both parties crying, but at the end of this particular one, the interviewee shared with me that they knew trust in their life, and they knew a lot of betrayal too, but they had never before experienced mending a broken relationship after a betrayal. This was a new feeling for them and a discovery of something previously thought impossible being possible.

This moment made me internalise something I knew in theory. Games matter. They are a form of art that can touch a person in ways no other art can. But what are those ways? Which are these games? And how can we bring them into more peoples’ lives?
Game design is more than a mystery to me, it is mystical, just like Elefsinia!
Having Elefsina as our main location, I am twice as excited to incorporate the theme of Mystery into the creative process first, and the creation second.
But what I am thrice as excited for :smiley: is hanging out with all of you there!


Hi! I am Alessandro from Italy. Nordic larp and immersive experiences (both digital and analog) are my favorite topics. This year I will be part of the team and can’t wait to start. For years I have been organising events and playful interventions in many contexts with my collective Chaos League – Immersive Experience.

This year’s theme is particularly dear to me: night and mysteries. To me, they represent that liminal state in which you lose yourself and find yourself again, that journey from which you always come back a little different. The night can protect us, but it can also make us lose our way. And mysteries are something that cannot be said, but something that represents a pact between those who want to go further together.

One story I am going to tell you is about a pervasive larp that took place in Rome. The players were walking in the San Lorenzo quarter, after midnight. There were 80 of them, all dressed in dark clothes. When a policeman stopped one of them and asked his name, he replied: my name is Parsifal and I am a knight of the round table. After him all the other 80 replied the same. I will never forget the officer’s face.
So excited for this year edition! :slight_smile:



I am Sofia from Greece, I have study theatre at AUTH and I am a dramaturg-theatre teacher. I have participate in many project artistic Erasmus mainly. At the moment I am leaving in my hometown Orestiada, in North Greece.
I love to write (I am very glad that this is my job) creat new characters and tell stories. One of the things I am always glad to earn is inspiration.


Hello everyone,

I’m Evie from Greece, currently dividing my life between Megara and Elefsina. I’m an English language teacher, currently studing for my Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second language.

My passion is nature and playing. As a volunteer for the Greek Guides Association I was introduced to the amazing practice of designing games in the urban environment and in nature.

I don’t have to share one particular story, but I would love to share my favourite summer activity. Every summer, upon visiting a place with a group of teenagers in the context of a summer camp, the first thing to do is organise and play a game with an aim to meet the locals and learn the story of the village.

I think play is for everyone, no matter age or interests and my future aspiration is to create opportunities for my students to learn through play and storytelling.

It is so exciting to be a part of this community!


Hey everyone,
my name is Matilde,
I’m very curious and I eat a lot. I like humans, I love monsters, I’m fascinated by what feels new and different. I enjoy drawing, storytellers, magic, dreams, cake, miniatures, games, and tomatoes. – This is the intro of my CV and my friends told me this is not professional at all, but I find it representative anyway :slight_smile:

I am Italian but I’ve been struggling with the grey skies of the Netherlands for quite a while.

For some years now, I’ve been enchanted by the dimension of larps and I am now trying to make them a structural element within my projects. My last studies have been in Social Design and there I started developing research involving mental healthcare, reality perception, fictional storytelling, transitional objects and worldbuilding – in the process to be matched and rounded by some good and fun gamification :sparkles:

Looking forward to meet, learn, be inspired and play with all of you, hopefully!

Wish you all a lovely day,


:dizzy: Hello beautiful hearts! Excited to get to know you all!

:otter: I’m Cosmo Esposito, a 29 years old chaotic being from Italy going by jugglers pronouns.

:books: I’m a Master Student in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology in Uppsala University, Sweden. For my Bachelor I graduated in ethnography with a thesis titled Experiencing complexity: live action role play as an experiential sharing tool, where I explored larps as a tool for corporeal restitution in
ethnographic research. Now I’m working on my Master thesis to actually use the theories developed to write a larp for such goal with Protego antidiscrimination center for LGBTQIA+ people in Palermo, Sicily.

:art: I’m collaborating since 2018 with Chaos League, a collective of designers and larpwriters based in Bologna. I love to write and develop larps for critical reflections through embodiment and I love to understand how we create new worlds of perceptions and understandings.

:milky_way: That aside, I’m now back in Sicily and pretty soon I’ll transfer back to Bologna with my loved ones. I miss the bonfires at the beach and I love the sunset on the sea. Probably, in a few days, I’m going to visit an abandoned lighthouse to finally enjoy back such memory.

:pig: Hope to see you soon! :sparkles:


Hello all,

My name is Katerina, I live in Athens (but sometimes also in the Netherlands) and I am a LARP designer with a background in architecture.

I am an associate of the LARPifiers NGO, where I design immersive experiences for all kinds of reasons! I am very interested in combining my knowledge about the urban space with playfulness and I try my best to create create new imaginary spaces through my practice.

Glad to meet all of you!


Hello everyone!
I am Vagelitsa , i live in Thessaloniki (Greece) and i am an elementary teacher for the past 11 years! I like to play and create games, teaching kids, mythology, history, summer camp, photography, create videos and so much more!
I love designing all kinds of games (outdoor games, board, theatrical etc), not only for my students, but for all ages! My passion is co-operative games! Is not a secret that playfulnes brings people together!

I will share a short story about a very simple game from this school year . So,we are with the fifth graders at a school trip to the centre of the city to explore and walking tour to some of the most iconic Roman monuments. Every student had a task sheet with pictures from the monuments. They needed to observe and find the specific bit , the picture shows and shout “Bingo” when they find all the pictures. That was the goal. So, we arrive at the monument “Kamara” and they were given the instruction to scratch the bottom of their task sheet and a question revealed: “Where is the elephant?”
So now, they are looking all over the monument to find the carved elephant. At the same time, a group of tourists pass and hear the kids wondering out loud: “Where is the elephant”. Next thing i see…The tourists blend in with the students and all together are looking fon the elephant in “Kamara”. They found the carved horses and camels and after a while they spoted the one and only elephant!
I remember the smile on both groups faces and gives me such joy! Several months later my students still remember this and share a good laugh!

A one-minute game did this! Imagine what bigger and more thematic games can do!

I am looking forward to inspire and be inspired by this community! I am so excited to be a a part of this!


Hello everyone!

I am Maelle, I am French and living in Greece for the last 6 years, currently based in Athens! I am a cultural manager, I love designing games, to introduce some magic in the public space and contribute to the creation of new perspectives on the city.
Games create memories and human connections, that’s why I think they are so great to discover a place, a specific theme, or the amazingness of fellow playmates.

I very recently created CultureHunters, an organisation that aims to connect curious minds with the Greek heritage and its contemporary reality thanks to experiences like walking tours, urban games, outdoor workshops and the design of playful explorations for festivals, museums, etc.
I love that this community exists, & would love to meet all of you! Hopefully in Elefsina for a week full of Mysteries :wink:



Hello people! I am so glad to be here once again.
I am Lydia, I am an architect, I am a traveller in the city, I am an urban enthusiast, I am a mother, I am a daughter, I like playing in the city with the city, I like playing with space, I trust in play all the time and I am usually happy and optimistic.
I am sooooo thankful for being a member of the Athenian branch in the last Trust In Play event. We survived through covid quarantine era together with the TiP community designing urban games, playtesing and playing. I’ve met a lot of interesting and inspiring people and we keep working together with some of the most favorite ones.
Taking part in the TiP live conference week event was a really satisying experience meeting, learning, exchanging and playing with a diverse and fun group of urban game designers.

The story that comes first in my mind about an urban game experience is the first playtest of our game Cities Revealed that we organized within our working group out in the city being limited during quarantine in our very close neighbourhood and being able to be outside only for a short period of time and only fro specific reasons (what a period!!!). So I went out to playtest with my 7years-old daughter in a conspiracy mood and we discovered how fun it was to play even in an empty urban space sharing the same experience with people in other areas and other cities which is the essence of our game.
I would like to play more than I actually manage to do and for one more time the Trust in Play community comes to save me from a demanding everyday routine.
Nights and mysteries are so favorite subjects.
I am really looking forward to go deep into the themes and mostly meet or meet again the urban game design community.

See you soon!


Hello everyone!

My name is Dimitris and I come from Thessaloniki, Greece.

I am a teacher for primary school students and during the years of my teaching I have tended to use a lot of drama techniques, larp and innovative games, taking the kids out of the narrow classroom walls,either by transforming the classroom into another kind of space (e.g.elf workshop/spaceship/haunted house) or by playing a game out in public space.
In addition, I have been designing open-air games for children camps mostly (non-professionally). However, this last year I was invited to design games for the ‘Game Travellers’ association in Thessaloniki, a team that designs indoor and outdoor games for children and adults.
That was a mostly challenging experience, almost liberating.
Every time one of these games was played, I was looking forward to seeing the happiness and exhilaration on the faces of the players (children or adults) and that was really rewarding. I think that is my driving force: every game, every playful activity is a form of happiness, surprise, adventure, communication and contains so many emotions and notions that simply can’t be ignored. The theme of mystery is a very thrilling notion as the unknown calls us/me to explore, to decipher, to succeed or fail and of course to enjoy ourselves in a very creative and hopefully unexpected way.

I hope I can meet all you great people in the Elefsis school in July.
Take care everyone!


Greetings to everyone!

My name is Theodora and I live in Athens. I am a cultural manager graduate although I have left this side of mine behind a little (no I just seek opportunities to take it up again feeling lost :upside_down_face: ). My 2 main activities are ballroom & tribal fusion bellydance and costume design, things I plan to develop professionally. I study Russian and Japanese and most generally I engage in all the aspects pop culture has to offer. I had the chance to organise the Cosplay Competition of the FantastiCon festival 2019! One day I want to organise my own event, no matter how big or small it will end up to be.
Currently I work at THE organising company, 2023 Eleusis which is quite a complicated and interesting experience for me, of high professinalism and solidarity that helps me grow up as a person. About urban games design… well, as an introvert person as I am , I believe this kind of concept helps people return to their old innocent self of a child, regarding that communication-connection form when acts were more important than words. In addition, I am a person who loves encyclopedic knowledge, so I am interested in learning a “game” from thw inside, like trying to be in the mind of the mastermind :laughing: . I would like to try design an activity for gardens (outdoor recreation places) -not sure how this idea could be part of an “urban desing” though :roll_eyes:
Generally I believe that urban games are the realm of LARP ho Ho HO! :beer:


My name is Jana, I’m a multidisciplinary (a fancy word for working with a lot of mediums) artist, I make various participatory projects using game mechanics and play. Currently I’m spreading my love for designing and playing larps in The Netherlands where I moved 4 years ago. I have a bit of a strange life story loop: years ago I used to design live-action role plays as a hobby (and I did a lot of projects involving sometimes a couple of hundred participants), then I committed to being a journalist, a photographer and later an artist working with performance. Right now everything I ever did seems to merge together, as I came back to creating role playing experiences, but now in the context of an art field. Despite all my previous experience, I feel like starting from the very beginning. It is a great feeling and I learn so much every day, and it makes me so happy )
I really love collaboration and almost all projects I recently made were created in collaboration with other artists, I see a lot of amazing opportunities for designing crazy, fun and meaningful experiences of urban mysteries and hopefully meeting all of you.

PS: It is such a great idea to have these introductions made public, I just read everything and it is so great to see how everyone is passionate about playing, I just felt so connected )


Hello Trust in Play community!
I am Soly, visual artist, designer, photographer, performer and architect of Czech origin, based in Burkina Faso since 2012. My student years were influenced by internships and curiosiiiityyyyyy that brought me to discover design and visual art in Morocco, Ghana, and Burkina-Faso. Straight after graduation, searching for environmental and social balance I co-initiated “unlimitedJCA”, a pro-bono and experimental architectural studio, and started to practice architecture and visual-art with local artists in Bobo-Dioulasso.
Three years later I met a choreographer Ladji-Kone. Merging our universes brought to life the company Ciel K, developing activities rooted in dance and visual-art meeting other artistic and scientific disciplines. The emphasis on complicity in our art maintains dynamism and perpetual questioning without prejudices. We focus on tackling the burning issues such as the environment and social balance of urban life and we like questioning identities with poetic lightness and provocative humour… Empowered by moments spent with people during production of our ideas, we continue to invent opportunities to foster solidarity, openness and trust within our community.
Today, one of our major projects is called The Pocket Park -started in 2018 it is a pilot project for a broader program to promote greenery, trust, security and creativity in our neighborhood and further. The Pocket Park is a public interactive installation and placemaking initiative that consists of a large-scale landscape creation and street furniture. It was designed during open creative workshops “with the people for the people” so that local people can explore, learn and experience art as a city-constructive tool. The game was one of our key words and medium to approach as well participants as audience.
Participating in first edition of Trust in Play as a complete novice in urban games, widen my horizons and definitely influenced the development of Pocket Park with Tournettes. The urban games are perfect match to our multidisciplinary projects featuring urban design, art, architecture, landscape design, sociology and anthropology.


Dear all,
my name is Chiara and I’m very happy to join this community!

I am a social anthropologist (museums, science, naturecultures) and I’ve worked in exhibiting contexts supporting and co-designing more or less participatory formats, with and without objects (The Museum of Contemporary Commodities at London-based Furtherfild Gallery and Commons, oddkin°labs at the Natural History Museum of Berlin, Kitchen on The Run 2022 from the Berlin-based NGO Über den Tellerrand).
I have always collaborated with artists and I am part of a small collective of friends researchers and artists. Together we started trying out performative presentation of non-linear stories using historiographical fragments and threading them together with speculative fiction.

I am very much interested in urban praxis and I bring to it an ethnographic sensibility. I am interested in the politics of communing, the feminist approach to knowledge and care and on undisciplinary ways of dealing with places, memories and more-than-human relations. Having worked with and on museums, this includes also engagement with violent pasts and contentious objects.

I also love illustrations for kids/comics/graphic novels/zines, I am definitively a book eater and I also love paper and cutting. I like old technology, cats, witches in every form and kind, 80s videogames and cartoons; science and speculative fiction, movies in big quantities and if sometimes I remember I like biking and swimming and walking across the cities I’ve lived in - Bologna, Firenze, Venezia, London, Berlin (also swimming in a sense). Love eating and I better stop here.

I am applying for this year’s School of Urban Game Design as I have always been fascinated with play and playful approaches to cities, landscapes and (material and immaterial) heritage. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Maria and Sebastian as part of the project Golden Record Studios already two years ago and the call for the school immediately caught my attention. It would be a super amazing chance to make the first step into the field, learn a lot from the other participants and join the creation of games and playful experiences during the week. The magic theme and the historical/mythical place are just the best!

I am based in Berlin so I am also curious and happy to start following the community here!
Hopefully, see you in Elefsis otherwise around Berlin and online!

All best,


Hi playful people :grinning:

My name is Amy Boulton, I’m an artist from the UK, based in Gotheburg Sweden and currently in residence at Popps Packing Detroit USA.

As an artist I love to collaborate on projects with people from other discplines, especially urban planning, architecture, interaction and game design. I enjoy how this can lead to productive misunderstandings and disagreement- and the challenge of how to meet in the middle and create something we are all equally invested in and excited about. I’ve been working in and with public space in my projects for several years.This has involved a lot of improvisation and led the work into unexpected directions.

I’m very invested in trying to find the right balance between a project’s accessibility and the participant’s autonomy. By this I mean that I want to make work that can be understood on many different levels by many different people. Experiences and encounters that I feel confident most people will be able to find something of personal value in. At the same time I want to allow people to draw their own conclusions, to create a situation that activates their imagination. It’s a balance I haven’t yet found but I’m motivated to continue my search for.


hi all, I’m Jonah

some of you may already know me from trust in play (or trust in play adjacent(?) circles). I always feel comfortable around this crowd because finally everyone like me is wearing 12 different hats and has 2 secret lives yada yada yada. I am a composer/sound designer/games designer/installation artist/music hardware designer (that ones new!). Spent a lot of time in Athens, and New York, right now pretty nomadic, which has its positive and negative insanities

Some stuff I like (trying to keep it short, there’s lots more):

  • over intimacy
  • urban walking/wandering - made a lot of games on wandering, also find it to be one of the best things ever - did a game where you wander for 12 hours
  • guerilla urban installations - lots of locking stuff to things in public, general mischief, spent a lot of time figuring out how to public-proof non-sanctioned installations. Made a big ole 11km scavenger hunt out of hidden installations in Athens, made some smaller stuff like hiding presents and self proliferating envelopes

something I’ve definitely learned about putting stuff up in urban spaces is to keep your public art inconspicuous, or indestructible - one time a kid of maybe 6 years old saw me and my friend locking up a plaque to a public fence, he immediately came right over with a huge grin and a big metal pole (where he even got it I will never know??) while we said “please stop” and watched him repeatedly, succesfully smash both padlocks off and just walk away - I wasn’t even mad honestly I was impressed. we started buying fancier locks - I’ve grown to feel that If you’re going to put up work in the wild west, it should be able to tolerate someone hitting it with a fire axe at the minimum, because who doesn’t love smashing stuff, I can’t take that joy away from someone


Hello allaaa ~~~~

My name is Tatiana and I’m a playful placemaker located in Stockholm, Sweden, but coming all the way from Baltimore, USA. When I’m not out and about exploring the city or getting stuck in random wikipedia holes from the confines of my room, you can find me walking around the forests, enjoying in the first sip of coffee, and/or trying to figure out why the ‘rule of three’ just works.

When I first saw this opportunity… ngl, I was thrilled! I became really interested in play during my master thesis project with my collective Fluke, my best friends and I’s urban collective developing game and playful encounters for co-design processes in public space! Through our experiments, we started developed fun place analysis games, playful community visioning workshops, and place prototyping games.

It all led up to a little [festival] exploring the possibilities of public space ( in our lil’ student community that was co-created, with over 300 students getting involved in one way or another. During this time, Trust in Play was really a huge reference for exploring my first glimpses of Urban Play and so glad it exists!

From Fluke, I got in contact with Glad Stad, a placemaking organization that works in different parts of the city . I’ve been working here in Stockholm in a bustling little part of the city called Hornstulls Marknad – a streetfood, secondhand, and antique market in the center of Stockholm where I’ve been working as the Community Manager. And wow – has it been fun (when it’s not Swedish winter :cold_face:_

And now… I’m moving! I got wind last week that I’ve been accepted into a PhD program in Wales, UK where I’ll be exploring urban accupuncture, pop-up urbanism, and how small and local scaled initiatives can make a difference in creative urban regeneration. Overall, I’m really keen on bringing play into my PhD, and think this would be such an amazing opportunity to really get my brain gears churning.

I really want to learn more about how narrative, speculative deisgn, and roleplaying can be used within the development of games that are accessible for all to play – and change our living space! Mysteries, myth, and the SPOOOKSSSSS :ghost: is such a fun launch point for this year’s program and I’m blowing off the dust off my old sci-fi novels. As much as I do love being ~mysterious~, humor and silliness is really core in my soul – so dang it, I’m going to use it!

I’m really looking forward to this program as I am interested in meeting like-minded playful + urban enthusiasts looking to harness the power of games in making our cities more livable, more co-creative, and DEFINETELY more fun :slight_smile:


Γεια! my name is Carolina and I am an improviser, mover and architect located between London, Manchester and Athens. When I am at work I am a serious academic, safely hiding behind a non-bespectacled look, spreading word in a non-hierarchical fashion, secretly trimming the institutional foundations from within the system : ) When out and about, I am improvising movement, games, open air urban choirs, bamboo games on island squares and making planters from recycled craters. I became interested in urban play a few years ago through a network of cool people part of the Urban Transcripts collective. Lat year we got a small funding to design from scratch an urban game about climate literacy, helping communities achieve net-zero goals. We spent 8 months prototyping it and we had a lot of fun playing it, with our favourite grassroute community from Hackney Garden of Earhtly Delights, in London UK. I would love to join Trust in Play and the Elefsina Cycles to re-work on a new version of it.

"It is 2100. Climate change is history. The sun is burning every living, moving creature through the ozone-depleted atmosphere. Humans and animals sleep during the day and wake up at sunset. Night is the new day. "

The above is one of the climate change scenarios in one of the ZeroCity+ game cards that was written by one of our players. I want to join the Mysteries to know more about scenario building and speculative play-making and how behavioural change can slowly be touched through playful approaches in public spaces.

I look forward to this programme and meeting amazing hearts and minds and looking to build more climate literacy scenarios that move from climate change anxiety to action through play. Cheers!