Polypolis a social game

As the current economic crisis hits a number of European countries, Polypolis social game uses a playful manner to train/educate city inhabitants to cope ‘in common’ with issues that affect their life’s resources. The Polypolis game was initially conceived as a testing ground for SARCHA’s “CCR: CityCommonResource (2010-2011)” research theme pilot study http://sites.google.com/site/ccrpkpgerani2010/.

In the rapidly deteriorating Athens centre, players are assigned life-roles; immersed in an urban environment of economic recession, illegality, city-phobia, rising violence and human desperation, the Athenians enter into an agonising and agonistic struggle to reset the city’s human, physical and natural resources. The players keep reflecting and acting upon “real” city conditions, and watch the outcome of their decisions unfold on the game board.

Reversing Monopoly, the role-playing social game Polypolis entails negotiations among 4 groups of players that strive to resolve complex issues. The four groups of players are:

1. Investors. Sub-groups: bankers, private investors, institutions/organisations, international corporations, real-estate.

2. Land/property owners. Sub-groups: big-scale ownership, small-scale ownership (local owners), small-scale ownership (owners from other areas).

3. Shop/small-scale manufacture owners. Sub-groups: Greeks, Chinese, Pakistani, Greek small-scale manufacture owners, arts & crafts

4. Unemployed. Sub-groups: homeless, immigrants, drug-users, skilled ex-employees

The winner: The group that proves the ability to resolve problems by discussion, negotiation and collaboration, managing the city resources and creating an appropriate, good quality and viable proposal for tackling the complex problems and contributing to the development of the Gerani area.

SARCHA has started to develop local adaptations of the Polypolis such as the ones in Rome and in Thessaloniki. The next big event is in London in June as part of the London Festival of Architecture. In an 2 hour game players will become Athenians and experience a city in crisis.

For more information about Polypolis Athens in London you can visit www.polypolis.sarcha.gr


this sounds really interesting! I’d love to play it!! How have the first rounds of the game gone, what if any insights have participants gained through them…and do any of them map onto the discussions we have been having on Edgeryders? I wonder whether some of the insights gained might be of use in putting Vinay’s post in perspective, or even challenging it: http://edgeryders.ppa.coe.int/practical-resilience/mission_case/europe-risk-war-what-should-we-do

Would be super interesting to know more about the actual conflicts and which solutions the winning groups came up with !

Every round has been extremely different

Every round has been extremely different from one another which means that the players have the power to transform the game themselves and also this has given us the necessary feedback to evolve it.

The two main points that I would like to highlight are

Firstly, the more specific the role of the players (ex. Owner of the Chinese restaurant at the corner of street A  e.t.c) the better they perform in negotiating with the other players.

Secondly, there is always the danger that the players will resort in reproducing the same social stereotypes and stop thinking critically and innovative. It is important that the players are given information and resources prior to the game in order to have deeper understanding of the issues and parameters of the area.