Co-gnito: A Participatory Physicalization Game for Urban Mental Mapping

Creative Commons License

Panagiotidou G., Görücü S., Nofal E., Akkar Ercan Z. M., Vande Moere A.

14th ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference, C and C 2022, Venice, Italy, 20 - 23 June 2022, pp.284-297 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1145/3527927.3532803
  • City: Venice
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.284-297
  • Keywords: collaboration, collaborative construction, making, mental mapping, participation, physicalization, serious games, storytelling, urban design, visualization activity
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 ACM.This study introduces Co-gnito, a participatory physicalization game that supports collaborative urban mental mapping through storytelling. Through Co-gnito we investigate gaming as a means to elicit subjective spatial experiences and to steer the synchronous construction of a physicalization that aligns and represents them. Co-gnito was evaluated during seven deployments by analyzing how 28 players mapped their spatial experiences of two university campuses. Our results indicate that storytelling as a gaming mechanic, guided and motivated the gradual addition of personal contributions towards a collective outcome, but its reward system did not nudge the mapping direction as expected. We also demonstrate how the shared construction process of a physicalization is influenced by how the data encoding scheme was negotiated, by the token physical affordances and by the game mechanics. We therefore believe that our core contributions, comprising of: 1) a working research prototype; 2) an augmentation of the physicalization pipeline towards collaborative settings; and 3) a set of reflective considerations, provide actionable knowledge on how to design participatory physicalizations in the future.