Exchange NBH

Begüm Saral
Architectural Informatics

Every day we face small issues in an urban context. These issues may seem big or small, making us wonder if anyone else would care. At this point, ‘Stadt-Bezirk’s come into the picture, smaller city district governances concerning themselves with the small community problems. While bringing these urban queries into the district councils is very effective, discussing them in the community to collectively find solutions by compromising brings the community together and create a feeling of empathy. And what else can create better empathy than roleplaying as your fellow community members? The game “Exchange NBH” is created to exactly focus on this collaboration and empathy while finding ideas and proposals for day to day urban issues.

The mobile game “Exchange NBH” is relying on the contribution of community members in discussing urban tasks and issues submitted by their district (“Bezirk”). The prototype is based on the city district Maxvorstadt, however, the application is expandable to all districts in any city. The game consists of three phases: make, play, and vote; each realized with the contribution of community members. Each phase lasts for a month for one urban task, while different urban tasks run in different phases simultaneously. At the end of all phases, an urban proposal is collectively achieved for the urban task that goes back to the Bezirk, establishing a think-tank program.
Each player has an account as a community member, as well as participation points and badges. One earns pp by contributing in the “make” phase, winning in the ”play” phase, and earning votes in the “vote” phase, and spends them by participating in the “play” sessions or by being in a moderator team.
The “make” phase starts with the assignment of an “Urban Task” by the Bezirk. This urban task might be an urban issue or an open question to collect ideas. Later, the “make” phase opens to the contribution of community members. Players submit topics related to this urban task to be discussed in the “play” phase. A role is also submitted for each topic. This role must be related firmly to the topic, so that the topic discussed will be in relevance. Questions to these roles are also submitted by the players for better gameplay in the future of the game. This phase lasts around a month collecting topics, roles, and questions in a pool related to the urban task. With each submission the player earns participation points, and badges for good submissions. Later, these submissions are reviewed by the moderator team and Bezirk members to select good submissions leading up to the “play” phase.
The “play” phase consists of many play sessions during a month. Each session lasts for a week and consists of five topic discussions and a final round, resulting in a final proposal. After choosing a session to play in, the player waits for the first topic discussion’s time that all the five players are in and ready to chat. Each player gets assigned a role, one of them being related to the topic of the day. This role is the counter and actively in two break chats, defending the topic and giving ideas. Rest of the four role-players are divided into two break chats and discuss for 15 minutes while trying to come up with a proposal coherent with their roles. In the end, the counter role-player chooses one of the proposals as the winner of the topic discussion.

München 2020