Animal Diplomacy Bureau

A series of mixed-reality game played in London parks that seeks to raise awareness of the life of urban birds. 

Players were trained to 'Become a bird' by learning how to interpret two types of bird calls and the resulting strategies real birds use when they hear these calls (run, hide, mob!). As players wandered through the park they would either trigger geo-located bird songs (indicating food), or hear the falcon's cry (indicating predators were nearby). The goal was to find as much food as possible by the end of the game.

To date, this game has been played by a total of 49 adults and 35 children in 3 different parks throughout London.​

Service

Game design, UX, Consumer Research

Client

Animal Diplomacy Bureau

MA project, Royal College of Art

Year

2017-2018

The games involved putting on a 'Bird hat' that transformed players into London birds: 

  • Rose-ringed parakeet

  • Goldfinch

  • Sparrow Hawk

  • Peregrine Falcon. 

The species chosen for each game were based on conversations with local birders and reflect the birds that live at each location. 

Gameplay was vetted and approved by Ornithologists.

We've turned 84 people into birds so far!

The game has been played in 3 different London locations and each game has been an opportunity to introduce people to the wonderfully complex life of urban birds.

Exhibitions & Games

  • The Politics of Design, Act I, 2018

  • SoundCamp 2018

  • Microsoft Design Expo 2017

  • London Design Festival 2017​

 

Publications:

  • Gaming for Active Nature Engagement. Animal Diplomacy Bureau. (The Design Journal, 22:sup1, 2019)

 

© Kaylene Kau 2020