New smartphone games developed by Swinburne are helping to connect people with the places they live.
It may seem counterintuitive, but new smartphone games developed by Swinburne are helping to connect people with the places they live.
The Swinburne Urban Codemakers games combine art and digital technology in a smartphone app that allows game players to explore and enjoy public spaces, increasing people’s engagement and sense of belonging.
The games use a real mapped urban environment overlaid with digital images and information that enhances the player experience. Visual markers – in the form of street art – identify physical locations and environments, and objects are linked to related digital animation and data.
How it started
The first Urban Codemakers game was made for the City of Melbourne Laneway Commission as part of the City’s Public Arts Program, from October 2010 to February 2011.
Since this first event, several local governments, arts festivals and events have commissioned the games. This includes:
- The ISEA Symposium in Istanbul (2011), Sydney (2013) and Hong Kong (2016)
- St Kilda’s Pop-Up Playground festival for the City of Port Philip (2013)
- Arts Incognita for Museums Victoria (2015).
In 2016, the City of Yarra Ranges also commissioned adaptations of the game for bushwalks in outer-eastern Melbourne.