City-Gaming in Deventer

playing Almere Oosterwold with over 70 Saxion University students

A quick report on our all-day City-Game at Saxion University in Deventer.



On September 3 2015, Play the City facilitated an all-day City-Game at Saxion University in Deventer. Over 70 second-year students from the fields of urban planning, urban design, and business management attended the workshop. This was a challenge for the Play the City team, as our city games accommodate maximum 25 players.



Game Process

We played two Almere Oosterwold Game Tables simultaneously. Besides a general Game master for the crowd, each table had their own Game Master to guide the process and discussion, as well as input on relevant rules and regulations from our Oosterwold legal expert, Mark Schmeink. Also present were a number of legal and environmental experts from Saxion, as well as the students’ instructors.



Playing the Game

Students quickly caught on to the rules of the Game and were soon coming up with diverse unexpected proposals. A church (with green houses on top!) that would invest in social initiatives in the area, a collective-living space, a rehabilitative farm for handicapped children, you name it! Collaborations emerged quickly among some students, but others chose to build a solid business case on their own. Especially during the Energy Phase, much bargaining and competition took place to see who could strike the best deals.




Discussions with Mark Schmeink, the legal advisor, about the rules and regulations in Oosterwold added a valuable new layer to the game. Could someone exchange certain land-use quotas with his neighbour? Is it allowed to build a strip club in Oosterwold? What about bio-gas boilers?



Wrapping Up

Feedback from both the students and staff at Saxion was very positive. They enjoyed playing the Game and saw its potential as an effective tool to discuss complex urban issues.

Want to book an exciting, interactive workshop for your institution or organisation? Just send an email to and we’ll be in touch!