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Serious gaming as a means of facilitating truly smart cities: a narrative review

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Behaviour and Information Technology
Issue number6
Volume39
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)695-710
Publication statusPublished
Early online date15/10/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The term ‘smart cities’ is contested: its interpretation is becoming ever broader, often to accommodate commercial interests. Since cities are made up of individuals, all of whom are guided by their own world views and attitudes, the residual question is not ‘what should we do?’ but ‘how should we do it and how should we encourage and enable everyone to join in?’ By exploring the ways that gamification can be used to understand the effects of ‘smart initiatives’ on cities and their operation, it was concluded that gaming has considerable potential to affect individual and societal practices by profoundly influencing the gamers themselves, while technology and the game design itself play a central role to how gamification is implemented and used. This paper proposes one way of both creating cities to which citizens aspire and delivering a beneficial change in attitudes and behaviours to make such cities work. We propose that way-finding games should be developed as the most appropriate tools for participation. Designing such serious games with sustainability, resilience and liveability agendas in mind, encouraging widespread citizen participation as gamers, and taking cognisance of the outcomes would lead to both smarter citizens and smarter cities.