Posted: 06 April 2018     |     Author: Prof Lesley Lokko
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Unit 13 Student to Enter Africa-wide Gaming Project by the Goethe-Institut
How do you practice as an architect in a world that is changing faster than you can respond to, or even understand? This question is central to Unit 13’s research agenda, and one that requires bold and creative responses to keep up with our shifting context. Saikumar Singh, an M1 student in Unit 13 has been selected to participate in the Goethe Institute's ‘ENTER AFRICA: Gamify your City Future’ project, an initiative that will run in 15 African countries from 2018 to 2019. Through the creation of location-based games in each of the countries, participants are tasked to actively speculate and plan transformation processes for their future cities. 
Location-based gaming is a type of Pervasive Game (a gaming experience extended from the virtual into the real world) in which gameplay evolves and progresses via a player's location in real time and space. Players are expected to move around specific locations to play the game. Thus, location-based games usually use the players' mobile devices to enhance the player's relationship to real spaces in the city. You'll remember Pokemon Go as a proliferation of the interaction of the virtual and real worlds we inhabit.
Young teams of multidisciplinary participants will be made up of architects, urban designers, IT experts, and professionals in the cultural sphere, hailing from South Africa, Ethiopia, Togo, Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya,  Côte d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria. Each country’s game ideas will eventually contribute to a transnational digital game about future scenarios in African metropolises, which will be presented in August 2019 at Gamescom in Cologne, the largest European games fair.
Said Unit 13's Leaders, Eric Wright and Claudia Morgado, 'we are thrilled that one of our students will be involved in this collaborative effort to create new ways of thinking about our cities. Our work this year is founded on the power of dialogue and collaborative exchange, across different people, places and professions, with the aim of stimulating new understandings about who we serve and how we practice. Each student in Unit 13 will be tasked to find "their other" as a counterpoint to their work, with Saikumar now off to an early start. We wish him all the best as he embarks on the first of many game lab workshops in Mid April 2018, and look forward to him proving the widely held belief that architects can, indeed, do anything they set their minds to.'