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Playing games in Bart Nil

On Wednesday 13th January, Bristol Wireless’ Sam Rossiter attended and participated in the first public run of the Digital Challenge Game developed by Drew Mackie and David Wilcox as part of the Government’s £7 mn. Digital Challenge.

The venue was Community at Heart in the ‘deprived’ Barton Hill area, which local residents had been invited to attend to put forward their ideas. Drew, David and Sam all addressed the assembly before the game started: Drew and David explained how the game was to be played, whilst Sam outlined Bristol Wireless’ involvement in the city’s developing final bid, emphasising our interest in such projects as online mapping and community history (both of the area and the local people), as well as making network connectivity more common. Kevin O’Malley of one the main co-ordinators of Connecting Bristol, also sang for his supper.

The premise of the game was very simple. With members of the local community working in groups, design a project that may be implemented under the Digital Challenge. After this, the groups are again divided; in smaller groups a character from a set of half a dozen or so typical characters designed by Drew and David is put through the project for 4 years. At least once over the 4 year storyboard, Drew will confront your character with a real-life event (pregnancy, illness, crime, etc.).

For a more complete report of the event, there are three readily accessible sources:

  1. David Wilcox’s blog piece;
  2. Kevin O’Malley’s report on Connecting Bristol;
  3. A local resident’s view on Straight Outta Easton.