News and Coverage

How the Magic Circle Transforms the Commons: Games, Communities, and Civic Participation

Location: Imperial Ballroom Level: Novice
Average rating: ***..
(3.38, 8 ratings)

In his 1963 science fiction book “The Game Players of Titan,” Philip K. Dick envisioned a form of government based on gameplay. Everything from real estate law to municipal policy to marriage contracts were not only derived from playing the game, but the design and sociality of the game had replaced government itself.

While such flights of fancy are somewhat extreme, there is an emerging space in game design that is redefining how citizens experience and interact with civic participation and policy.

This talk will walk through a couple of examples of new Area/Code games that directly engage and alter how we experience community involvment in recent citizen safety and fiscal policy initiatives.

Photo of Kati London

Kati London


Kati London is Vice President at Area/Code, which creates cross-media games and entertainment. London designs and develops opportunities for interacting with others – whether that be for people and plants, residents of Gaza City and Tel-Aviv or gamers playing tag with tiger sharks in the Great Barrier Reef. Her collaborative projects have been featured in the Museum of Science & Industry, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Design Museum of London. She frequently speaks on digital/physical hybridization.

At Area/Code, London works with clients that include the BBC, the Carnegie Institute/Girls Math and Science Project, Disney Imagineering, the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport, Nike, Discovery Channel, CBS, MTV and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

  • Sun Microsystems
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • IEEE
  • Make magazine
  • Orange Labs