Environmental Policy In Simulation, Open Data, and Engagement
The City of York Council collects a large volume of data on the city, ranging from traffic lights to bus routes, incomes to school placements, overdue library books to litter bins, and road quality to air pollution. Analysis of this data can provide real insight into what's happening in the city and can inform policies which affect us all. By making the data widely available through the York “Open Data Platform” (ODP), the council hopes to engage people in what's happening in the City of York and enable them to be more open, more accountable, and more transparent.
At present relatively few of York's citizens are aware of the ODP’s existence, and of those who are, few have the requisite technical skills and knowledge to meaningfully engage with this data. The EPISODE project is using the DC Labs knowledge of games and gamification to develop ways to help people engage with this data in a playful and fun way. In the process they will learn about data and develop more of an interested in policy - something that, under normal conditions, tends only to interest people when they are directly affected (bus routes, hospital times, etc).
The EPISODE game will offer an innovative and unusual new solution to this problem of engagement and interest. We are creating a game that makes the examination of this data playful and fun, as well as removing the technical expertise barriers to engaging with it, in the process opening up York’s Open Data Platform to a far greater range of potential users. We are working closely with the City of York Council and a range of community groups in York to develop the game for both urban settings and mobile phone downloads, with the aim of subsequently distributing the game throughout the entire city.
We are always looking for new community groups to partner with, new playtesters, people who are interested in giving their feedback about what they’d like to see in such a game and how it might be useful or fun for them. Please contact Mark or Darren if you’re interested in getting involved in the game’s development and implementation in the city.