Eytan MANN
(MIT, Cambridge, USA)

Keywords: gamification, cultural tourism, objects, urban game

The paper will discuss the possibility of pervasive gaming, collaborative activities done in real urban environment, and its potential for initiating new possibilities of interaction and perception of cultural sites.
To discuss pervasive games, the paper will bring forward a research on that matter, done at Kyoto as part of a joint project between Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Kyoto Institute of Technology in the winter of 2017 (led by Prof. Takehiko Nagakura). The gamification of sites in Kyoto attempts to assist the city in facing a challenge with the decrease of tourism to its temple compounds. Miidera Temple, one of the largest cultural attractions in the Kyoto area, is facing a depletion of visitors, especially young crowds. A possible game platform sketch has been developed to seek new possible activity in Miidera through linking with other tourist attractions in Kyoto.
In Kyoto Displaced Objects game, one takes objects from Nishiki Market (Kyoto’s traditional marketplace) and places them, out of context, in various places in Miidera Temple. The game objective then, is find the displaced objects,  collect them, and place them back at their origin store at Nishiki Market.
Focusing on objects, the urban game takes from strategies developed by surrealist games. Experiments such as the Psychogeography of the French philosopher Guy Debord used games as new media through which one can re-visit the city and imagine new possibilities of usage.
The paper will show that pervasive gaming in cultural sites in Kyoto, bears the potential to re-define historical artifacts.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
The paper discusses the boundaries of what is referred to as Cultural Heritage, and new media that disrupts those boundaries.

Unity game engine is used to interact with virtual objects and architecture, scanned in the actual site using photogrammetry.


  1. Nijholt, Anton. “Playable Cities.” (2017).
  2. Candlin, Fiona, and Raiford Guins. The object reader. Routledge, 2008.