Street game developer wins knowledge fellowship

See streets and laneways transform into a digital wonderland through your smart phone, thanks to Melbourne Knowledge Fellow Dr Troy Innocent.

An artist, game designer and senior lecturer at Swinburne University, Troy uses game play and new technologies to activate city spaces.

His latest work, Wayfinder Live, invites players to scan codes hidden in Melbourne laneways to unlock the story of the fictitious micro nation of Ludea in augmented reality.

‘Every city has the potential to be a “playable” city and street games are as old as cities themselves,’ Troy said.

‘As digital technologies have changed the shape and behaviour of our cities, new spaces for play have emerged.

‘This fellowship is like being given the keys to the city – to open it up and start exploring and unlocking all the layers from the inside out.’

For Troy, inviting people to play in urban environments is invaluable to the evolution and wellbeing of our cities.

‘This fellowship is like being given the keys to the city – to open it up and start exploring and unlocking all the layers from the inside out.’

‘The idea of play as pointless fun is challenged by the designers of serious games who remind us that it is fundamental to learning,’ Troy said.

‘Play also creates social bonds, connection, and community through these shared experiences, and it is critical for the social and public health of cities, providing balance to the efficiency driven agendas of smart cities.’

Through his fellowship, Troy will travel to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bristol, Copenhagen and beyond to explore the world’s most progressive ‘playable’ cities.

He will also be in residence at Library at the Dock, offering activities for industry and community groups and implementing a version of Wayfinder Live in Docklands.

‘The interdisciplinary nature of the fellowship suits my background as an artist, academic and educator allowing me to shift the focus of my research across different modes – making, playing, writing, designing, coding,’ Troy said.

‘We have several workshops coming up in April and May and I’d love to talk and meet with people interested who want to play with the city of Melbourne to see what we can come up with.’

Find out more about Troy’s upcoming events at Melbourne Knowledge Week.

The Melbourne Knowledge Fellowship aims to enhance local knowledge and skills in the use of creative and innovative technologies by applying learning and best practice from overseas.

The fellowship includes a learning phase, during which the chosen individual travels overseas, and a six month residency at Library at The Dock.