15:00 - 15:30
Participation through play

Short thesis

Our world seems to be more and more complex- even complicated. Various questions require interdisciplinary and international expertise and decision making.

We lack new narratives - who could tell "occupy", "internet security vs. individual freedom" or the climate change as a classical linear heroe's journey story without reducing complexity? What kind of collaboration (digital and post digital) can we imagine?

When we play games (or invent them) we reflect on systems and their rules. With the help of a common set of rules and roles/ a shared parallel world/ we define individual freedom (and agency!) while playing. Phantasy instead of fake news. And after playing something through we know more. Play informs reality.


In my work I design social games and teach people how to design games themselves all over the world. As an empowering cultural technique, not only to see the world as a player (and interact!), but also as a designer (change & create): Participation through imagination. Everybody is a world builder. And we need to build our world together. As individuals, groups and societies.

In my talk I present some related projects - mostly realized in cultural contexts and science/foresight e.g. an urban regeneration festival that let the inhabitants chase real monsters (Mülheim, 2012), a playable museum of individual life changing stories (Nagoya, 2013) game design as empowerment tool in international Latin American summer camps (Parallelweltmeisterschaft, 2016) and project "Weltübergang", a place for playful social fiction prototyping (Berlin, 2017-)