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Reconnecting
with Nature
through Games.

Animal Diplomacy bureau- Mixed reality games

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.​

ROLE
Lead UX Designer

User Researcher

YEAR
2017

MA Project

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How the games worked.

The games translated bird behaviours into game rules, encouraging players to 'think like birds'.

The game was built on the foundations of well-known games such as Tag and Capture the flag, mimicking the predator dynamic and foraging behaviour of birds.

Players transformed into birds after putting on a ‘Bird hat’. Bird species were chosen based on local species: 

  • Rose-ringed parakeet

  • Goldfinch

  • Sparrow Hawk

  • Peregrine Falcon. 


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)

  • Play as Diplomacy: An Essay.
    (Peabody Essex Museum, Playtime)

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