The Tygron Platform has been working to support scientists of the ICRA Catalan Institute for Water Research in developing an urban serious game. Edible Game 1.0 as a part of the Edible City Network project has been designed to help the cities to implement Edible City solutions and therefore improve the liveability of urban areas.
The Edible City Network is an international initiative that strives to improve the liveability of the cities through the implementation of Edible City Solutions. The projects objective is to find solutions to make cities more sustainable by planting greenery and crops within the urban space and through that, it hopes to increase the overall social welfare of the cities and strives towards making it climate and future proof. The project is a result of multidisciplinary collaboration between different scholars, universities, local city administrators and non-governmental organizations and private enterprises all around the world which all work together for the same goal.
Tygron too plays a role in the initiative by giving the building blocks to a serious game Edible Game 1.0. The game has been developed by a team of scholars from the ICRA Catalan Institute for Water Research involved in the EdiCitNet project. Josep Pueyo-Ros, Lluís Corominas, Joaquim Comas, Joana Castellar and Alexandra Popartan have developed the game in the hope that it will help with designing the transition of the cities into spaces which align with the objectives of the Edible City Networks. The game was designed to present the major urban challenges and to understand how different Edible City Solutions can address them. It provides the players with knowledge base and methodology to successfully implement the Edible Cities Solutions which will suit their city’s needs best.
The first version of the game has been based on the map of Girona, the city where the game’s designers are based in. The game however, because of the fact that the Tygron Platform is based on a gaming engine, can be applied to and played in all of the cities that belong to the Edible Cities Network. The game can be played from 9 different perspectives, as every player represents a different stakeholder group. Among them are the municipality, tourism promoter, neighbour’s organization and the educational sector. In order to reach an optimal outcome in the game and implement the Edible City Solutions successfully, the players need to be in constant dialogue with each other. Every player has a defined budget and goals that they are striving towards. All of the players’ actions influence the indicators which in order for the scenario to be a success, need to be kept at a certain level. For the purpose of the game, new indicators such as the absorbed NO2, people involved, jobs created and food production were created. During the gameplay, the players make use of different overlays which help them to make informed decisions. These overlays give the players the access to information on, among others, the heat stress effect, distance to green areas, NO2 emissions, food production and the locations of plots available for urban agriculture.
The game can be used by policymakers and urban planners for scenario testing as it provides feedback on taken actions. In real time, it visualizes the changes made in a 3D model of the area and indicates what influence they have on different aspects of the area. The simulation properties of the software make it a tool perfectly suitable for experimentation and testing different proposed solutions. Moreover, because of the fact that the game is played by various stakeholders which need to debate with each other during the game play to reach a desired outcome, the Platform is a tool suitable for participatory planning approach where the citizens discuss about a problem together with urban planners. The game gives the players the opportunity to empathize with the other stakeholders of the city and understand their, sometimes conflicting, interests.