Life Loops (2023)
A collective non-human journey

Urban role-play game by artists and social/game designers and researchers: Alex Brown, Johannes Equizi, Matilde Patuelli, Ludwig Küster, Amy Boulton, Balint Mark Turi, Kiprianos Skafidas 

Video by Matilde Patuelli

Life Loops is a short urban role-play game about how ecosystems interact and change through time. The game encourages players to de-centre the human perspective and to embrace complexity, chance and non-binary thinking. It is played around a public square or a block with four stops in a loop, starting and ending at the same place. Participants play a character while walking down a street with others, using prompts to explore and interact as that character.

Prompts relate to how their character moves, communicates, and interacts with space. To start, all players randomly select a character from the container who they will play until the first stop. The prompts can be held and looked at during play and character badges are attached to player’s clothes.

Each part of the journey ends when the facilitator announces: “A long period of time passes”. When you players hear this, they walk to the next stop, put character badges back into the container and randomly select a new one for the next part of the journey until the full loop is completed.

The game is open source: it can be played and edited by any group in any urban space. Download a full set of printable instructions, character badges and prompt cards here:

Doucumentation of playtest in Elevsis courtesy of Trust in Play / Aris Kamarotos. Creative Commons Licensed

 Image courtesy of Trust in Play and Aris Kamarotos with Creative Commons.

This work was created in Athens in the context of Trust in Play school of urban game design: The Elefsina Cycles for Elevsis European capital of culture 2023. A full game set in Greek and English was gifted as part of an urban games “Pommegrenade” bundle to the people of Elevsis after presenting and playtesting our games with them.