Imagine the Shard is a Death Ray
“A CITY IS NOT A PLAYGROUND,” reads the slide. Click. “I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY. IT'S A CITY.” Just like that, games designer Holly Gramazio punctured urban play's favourite, over-used metaphor. And she had pictures to prove it.
So began the Museum of London's Playing Out salon.
Throughout the evening's programme, White Noise and the audience were working away with Steph Hartman of Collage Club on a fantastical cityscape, snipping sections of White City up into a paper panorama.
Gramazio's talk pushed gently on the points where the cliché breaks down, and suggested creative uses for bridges, trees, bus stops and even the tip of the Shard (you pretend it's a death ray and you've only got 10 seconds to take cover). Next, writer and researcher Edwina Attlee took us to the Coney Island theme parks of the early 20th century, where workers found escapism from the new drudgery of nine-to-five and the entrance fee to Hell Gate was 10 cents. Lastly, Matt Adams of Blast Theory talked about how games can foster dialogue between people and “stretch and merge languages of talking about urban space.” Oh, and that time he got kidnapped for real during a game.
The Museum of London's salon series for curious Londoners continues. Next up: Protest.
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