City-Gaming Method

Dynamic urban development “is” the 21st century.

Here is how Play the City applies the city-gaming method to advanced urban questions


As master planning falls out of favor, city makers are calling for more effective and collaborative methods. We consult governments and companies through our ‘city-gaming’ method. A game is a model, a simplified version of reality. Using this allows complex issues to be made accessible to a larger number of people; both experts and non-experts. Our Games accelerate consensus amongst multiple stakeholders, support informed decision making, and resolve conflicts. Stakeholders have fun and engage in the process genuinely. We tailor our collaborative method according to each specific case. Here is how we apply the city-gaming method to advanced urban questions

Stakes and Stakeholders

First, we identify key stakeholders -both visible and hidden - and conduct research to help you sharpen the boundaries of your challenge. This often takes the shape of a field survey and personal interviews combined with research. From here, we map stakeholder powers and interests relating to the challenge at hand. This allows us to model the specific player roles and rules in your Game, and to convert the outcomes of this research into a ‘Game concept’. Your feedback at this stage ensures that our initial game concept is aligned with your needs


With your feedback in mind, we then develop the initial Game Concept further, into an interactive “City Game” that is tailored specifically to your individual case. The Game platform enables you and your stakeholders to visualize ideas, plans and projects so that various interests can be tested against one another. Our Games are designed to generate transparency and consensus amongst stakeholders, and to transform conflicts into constructive dialogues. The game provides a safe environment for playing with ideas and identities, creating a platform where you and other stakeholders are able to prototype alternative scenarios and partnerships during the Game to prepare for reality.

Action Plan

The interactive nature of gaming provides a playful platform where creativity is not stymied through power imbalances, and where stakeholders can negotiate with one another and make decisions collaboratively. 
We record all Gaming sessions carefully and analyze this afterwards, translating insights and opportunities revealed by players during the Game, into innovative strategies and action plans for your real life interventions. 
In some cases, we advise you with further gaming sessions to incorporate changing input or to detail the decisions further.