Back to Trust in Play Homepage

Stories from the world of Urban Play


Hi Jorrit,

I’m from Groningen as well! Love to meet up anytime soon and talk about how we can make our city more playful!
Are you game?



Hi Marian,
That sounds great, lets meet up!
I’ll be out of the city until the 10th of June.
What day and time would suit you? Email me on


Hello everyone,
Currently I’m working on my dissertation about new methods of citizen participation based on digital technologies. As part of my PhD I’ve been focusing on temporary interventions in cities that allow people to transform their own streets for example through parklets, street closures or activating residential streets (Wohnstrassen / Woonerven). As part of my PhD thesis I created different online tools that encourage people to activate & play with / in public spaces:

Tool for parklets in Vienna:

Residential street quiz:

Tool for street closures in Singapore:

In general I’m interested to activate public spaces and playfully appropriate them. I want to meet other people with the same vision and think about ideas that we can develop together. Locally I’ve collaborated with citizen organizations such as space and place, raumstation and for the realization of the projects. I think that the School of urban game design will be a great opportunity to to conceive and develop new projects. From what I see here it will be an awesome event, so looking forward to joining you all!

Juan Carlos


Hello Trust in Play community!
It is great to read so many interesting stories from all around the world!

My name is Florencia, I am an industrial designer from Uruguay, currently living in Barcelona. I am almost finishing my Master in Research and Experimentation in Design, actually developing the final project regarding playable cities, with a strong political and critical conceptual framework… thinking of a possible PhD
I have worked in Uruguay as a junior professor in design, and participated on collaborative and participatory projects in territory. I enjoy a lot sharing and exchanging in projects, I think the result can be much more complete but it is really the process that becomes enriching, therefore I try to work with people from different fields, ages and cultures if possible.

The curious thing about this type of projects is that they do not always develop as we imagine and being open to what may happen is not always easy.
A little anecdote happened when developing my industrial design thesis. I was super excited to do a participatory project in a neighborhood that has a very critical situation in Montevideo. My project went to the rescue of an old square, in which I tried to involve neighbors, children, etc. As an amateur I was (maybe I still am a bit) I was expecting a lot of happy and excited people to participate, bring material and some things to eat together. Finally after two hours only three people arrived, for which most of the activities were canceled. We ended up drawing on the floor with chalk a large hopscotch and dedicated ourselves to eat and play. At the end of the day there were more than 20 children who ended up playing around. The conquest of space was great (although not in the way I expected) :joy::yellow_heart:

Happy to be part of this community!

@V7cky let me know if you would like to go for a coffee or a beer here in Barcelona :slight_smile:


Thank you for sharing your experience Max. It sounds like you have precious, painful memories - bolstered by the knowledge that you made the most of those moments in creative memorials.
Your PhD sounds really interesting as well.


Hello there,

So much story to read!

So I’m 32, my Name is Jean-Emmanuel Barbier, and right now, i’m living in Belgium. I’m ending a PHD in Paris at EHESS. The subject of my PHD is the social interaction around boardgames between passionate (geek) players during club like activities.

On the side, I’m also a touristic guide/cultural mediator, teacher at HE2B (superior school) in Science and techniques of games (sciences et techniques du jeu).

Multiple hats, and all about games already. And on the leisure side, I’m also a player (Video games, boardgames, Role play games, Larp, etc…), wich add to the profile.

Since it will be hard to choose which one is the most pertinent, I’ve decide to put two short story.

1st, lets start things by my PHD, where after being stuck for a while, not knowing what to do with a lot of data, struggling to connect the dot, I went to the weekly game meeting. There, once again, some player told me what almost every time one of them ended up telling me : “You should take a close look to this player”, and as usual, it was someone doing something out of the ordinary, either a particulary good player, or a bad one with problematic behavior, sometimes etc. Not the kind of things Human science looks at. But that time, it stroke me. Inadvertently, this kind of repetitive and, until then, unhelpful remark showed me something interesting, a way to connect dots of my PHD. It wasnt what the player wanted me to look at, but the mere fact that he found it important. And since I had meticulously collected all of these remarks, I ended up having a clear map of “what does it mean to be a good, a bad, or a true gamer”.

Next, come the cultural mediator. I’m part of a group of researcher about games, and we created an exhibition about MMORPG. A small one, but still, we had some really nicely crafted arch build by a larp & theater decor company (WAAARPG, they do nice stuff). I decided that I wanted visitor to play in this exhibition, so I created a game using MMORPG mecanism, based on the content of the exhibition, and with a PVP game part were player had to fight each other with a paper rock scissor games with a class based “skills” on top of it.
The game was simple, but, it was the first time I had to write a rules. And rock paper scissor rules are strangely long to write down if you add things on it. Sadly, it’s only when the exhibition started that someone with communication and graphics skills told me that a very simple way to explain all of this, and avoid the fearfull “wall of text” was to explain the rules with pictures. Since then, it’s always my way to go.

I’m happy to join you all, and will continue to read this huge post with lots of interesting story!


Hello! We are Produced Moon, an interactive/digital theatre company based between London & Glasgow in the UK. We make work that explores decision making structures and ideas of ownership and power. We’re made up of two artists: Leonie Rae Gasson, who also makes queer one-on-one performance and sound installations, and Melanie Frances, whose background is in mathematics, and is particularly interested in making playable models of scientific, political and economic systems. A key part of our practice is smashing these things together and seeing what happens!

We make lots of different things – shows, experiences, adventures, games… some things that don’t have a name yet, some are outside, some inside, mainly in public spaces, rarely in private. We’re particularly interested in finding ways to give the people who come to our work agency, where they get to totally lead and direct where the experience, and then have moments of communal reflection to explore and discuss.

We often use technology in our work: sometimes directing people around using texts and calls, and also building small phone/tablet apps or games that help transform the person’s phone into something different – a radio or a portal to another world. We like to talk about augmenting reality – although we don’t use AR tech. Rather we think of the experiences we create as being something that changes (or augments!) the way a person sees the space around them.

Here’s a nice story about our show Switchboard, which explores the Gay Girl in Damascus hoax. The piece was presented at the Edinburgh Fringe in an experience that lasted for 24 hours. Audience members would sign up at the start of the 24 hours to a switchboard, and then would be asked to find different hidden locations around the city which would unlock different stories and games to play. Each audience member could choose how much they wanted to engage, and in this way the experience was really variable person to person. Some people intensely played for 24 hours straight, some meandered gently through the stories. There was one moment where we asked audience members to leave a message at a tree in a big local park (a place in Edinburgh called the Meadows, if people know it!). Our audience launched into this in a way we hadn’t quite expected, leaving cards with beautiful messages and by the end of the festival the tree was covered. It was a lovely moment of building a living testament to a performance and was a really exciting way the digital world merged with real public space.

We’re intrigued to hear more stories of games in urban spaces – thanks for having us here!


Hi Trusters 'n Players!

My name is Andrius and I’m based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
I would call myself all-around media storyteller and interactive orchestra conducting images, forms, and medias. I’ve built a profile of projects on various media platforms: from creating brand‘s image to VR experiences, from directing high-end commercials to his first feature documentary ‘Game of the Nation’. Now I’m a Creative Entrepreneur during working hours and a non-stop genius idea espresso machine 24/7.

I come from filmmaking background but way I’ve been focused for the last ten years is interactive storytelling – whether you call it “cross-media” or “transmedia”. Creating stories is my passion and the main reason I’m in this industry. I passionately believe in a born-digital approach to content; so stories for me are not just words on paper. My experience with storytelling has taught me that a well-told story carries the audience along in a journey and there’s a kind of energy that binds the story and the audience together. I experience that same thing when a particular visual art engages me. I’m drawn into it. I keep going back to it. It possesses a kind of magnetic attraction with something inside me.
My current focus is virtual reality (VR) and checking out both storytelling and technical opportunities in this platform. I’ve made interactive roomscale VR experience “Code of Freedom 1991” that’s travelling on festivals.
Last year I’ve released interactive audio tour app:
I have a project for interactive tour city guide for kids that has been on the shelf for too long.

Let’s roll the dice!


Hello :slight_smile:

I’m Angela, a Game Designer from Copenhagen, specializing in physical games, and games that make the players perceive themselves and their surroundings in new ways.

I graduated from the Game Design- and Theory Master at the IT-University in Copenhagen in December, and hold Bachelor degrees are in e-Concept Development and Multimediadesign.

I am particularly interested in how games and experiences can make people notice new things, details, and wonder, around them, that they don’t normally sense. Many people move through their day so quickly that they don’t notice the magic that is happening all around them. It blows my mind how powerful playful experiences are, in regards of making people perceive the world differently and more vividly. I like to explore how the concept of The Magic Circle can help people to step into an alibi that allows them to open up to new adventure and inputs, and embrace their inner child.

Ok, so a short story is about improvisation. I recently did guided tours for the senses at the experimental games festival A MAZE., where participants were blindfolded and led around the space while invited to sense specific things around them. On the last day of doing the tours, loud DJ-music suddenly played in the space and drowned the experience (eg. me trying to calmly tell people which senses to focus on). I was therefore quickly improvising the tours in the opposite direction, which opened up to new interesting things to experience. Also a quote from a participant was “It felt like my brain was being massaged”

I’m excited about being part of this community, and I look forward to see what it’ll lead to.

Cheers, Angela


Hello, this is Konstantina from Athens, Greece.

I am currently working as a Product Designer for an online real-estate startup. I have studied Communication and Mass Media at the Kapodistrian University of Athens and own a Masters Degree in Communication and Multimedia Technology from the University of Turin, Italy.

I get fascinated by games and gamification applications. The potential of blending them with physical environment and the real world is huge, relatively easy and most of all exploitable.

In the past I have worked as an Instructional Designer for an online course provider, designing online games to support learning. I don’t have any experience in game design for the physical world but I would be more than eager to dive into this new experience.

Looking forward to meet you,


Nina! I am curious to learn more about your games for introverts - this is something that I’ve wanted to explore more explicitly. What do you focus on in making games and experiences introvert friendly?


Gabi! I really enjoyed reading this. One theme I see in your list is about how the-reality-we-all-share could be (interpreted) differently – either by it being different or our seeing it differently. Slow games / awareness & rituals seem to me to be a bit different than the rest of the list. Can you tell me more what slow games & rituals are about for you? How does introspection, a focus on individual experience of a moment, and the imagining of alternate realities / interpretations influence each other, in your view?


Hi Anne!

Thanks for your feedback. I find this topic also so intriguing. I focus on developing plays and games that do not necessarily require performative activity from participants, that could be played alone, is small groups or with slower tempo and that allow time for reflection as well.


@MariaS or @sebquack - can you help?


Hi Rotteja,
You are supposed to upload one .pdf file. Feel free to create one pdf with your CV and portfolio and send it at

Hope it helped :slight_smile:



I am Allison (Ally) Whitney (she/her or they/them pronouns) and I am currently a rising Game Design Senior at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)! During the American school semester, I am based in Baltimore, but currently, I am studying abroad in Osaka, Japan! Before MICA, I hailed from a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve been interested in urban games and similar experiences from a young age, and have found my passion for creating all sorts of games through the Game Design program at MICA!

Like @LeaLeroy and @jyow, I am a moderator for our school’s Urban Gaming Club (UGC) and have been for the last year. Working alongside my fellow moderators on the 2 games a year has been incredibly rewarding, and has, as they have mentioned, also given me a strong interest in pursuing the creation of these sorts of games and experiences on a grander level. I also took part in a LARP workshop through MICA, and learned a lot about the different styles of larping, in addition to making a small micro-larp with a teammate about Grief and the memories of someone lost through their possessions.

I’m very interested in experiences and how each player can bring their unique ideas into play, and what they can receive in return. My design process has begun to focus on designing these spaces for people to explore narratives, emotions, and actions in order to transcend the monotonous and have a good time!

In terms of skill sets, I’m always up for picking up more skills for my toolbox! I learn quickly and love trying new things. In the last few years, I have been picking up photography. I also enjoy making both analog and digital games alongside urban ones, as well as installation work and custom controllers.

I am thrilled to connect with all of you, and hope to talk a lot more in the near future!

Thank you,


Hey Ally! Your Micro LARP sounds intriguing, especially with the following paragraph in mind - what do you want this game about grief to feel like to the players? I heard Sabine speak on playing with grief two months ago and was taken by her talk - do you have other inspirations on the topic? (link to a talk of Sabine here:


Hi Anne!

Thank you! I haven’t gone back to it since the workshop but I’ve been thinking about revisiting it soon! At the time, I was still getting over the passing of my grandmother. The feelings that washed over me as I was looking through her things, as well as my general interest in how people express themselves through the objects they keep over their life, inspired the project I made that day. I was using it to express my own grief, and since I was struggling at the time, I wanted to see if I could share my own experiences with others.

In terms of the emotion, I would want players to feel, I wanted players to tap into their own feeling of bittersweet nostalgia. A celebration of the person whom you are reminiscing about and how they affected your own life, which can sometimes be difficult when that person is no longer available to you.

Thank you for the link! I will definitely watch that when I have the time. Of the bat, it seems like an interesting talk, especially with what I was going for with my micro-LARP.


Hello Trust in Play people!

I’m a doctoral student at Queen Mary University of London, co-supervised in the School of Geography and the School of English and Drama.

My research focuses on cultures of metropolitan citizenship drawing on the scholarship of play, performance theory, cultural theory and performativity, with fieldwork in Tokyo (2019), London (2020) and Rio de Janeiro (2021). My professional background is in urban design, masterplanning, regeneration and area-based planning policy. There is a scholarly strand to my research (a written thesis) and a performative strand (a game experience or event).


For several years I’ve been volunteering with Universal Board Games, a group of former adventure play workers who use board games to engage people with each other and on issues of common concern ( They’re amazing! One of the places they work is Gillett Square in London, where they run Global Games days. This square is a rather contested space in a built-up area, with skateboarders, street drinkers, bars and cafes, a carpark and a jazz club, and very different people in very close proximity. There are tensions in terms of different people’s claims on the space and cultural uses of it. Accordingly there are different perceptions around substance abuse, noise, occasional “antisocial behaviour”, festivals, car parking, policing, etc. and the atmosphere can sometimes be a bit febrile. It’s just amazing seeing how games dissolve some of the tension and can bring people into some interaction and understanding with each other, just by setting up some dominoes, chess, mancala, backgammon, Connect 4, etc. Check out this vid

Looking forward to learning more about Trust in Play and hopefully participating.

All the best



HI Produced Moon - Switchboard sounds inventive and fun. I heard something similar about other engagements with trees - people were asked to message trees and instead of sticking with straight fact based questions they started swapping poems, thoughts, feelings and moods. I’m pretty inspired by these silent witnesses and so really enjoyed hearing about the tree talk fest in Edinburgh, cheers…