Are You For Real?

The Patching Zone develops the  project Are You For Real?, which evolved out of Streetwise Billboards. In this project a social urban game will be developed that can be used as a bridge (interface) between different groups of young people. With Streetwise Billboards we aim to strengthen fleeting contacts (weak ties) among youth so these can be strengthened over time and grow into a strong social ecology. It builds on often observed social situations that people from different ethnic backgrounds in the area often have little or no social interaction with one-another. However, in previous projects of The Patching Zone, they found a shared digital (online) gaming interest. As opposed to general Internet use (or chat), gaming allows young people opportunities for cross-cultural experiences.

The project is developed according to a participatory approach; the youngsters and students are involved as co-creators. The young people involved adjust the streetscape of the local public space in the virtual and augmented gameplay. The game will be played on cell phones (youngster in the hood), online in the public library (youngsters from other areas in the cities) and on public displays for a general audience. Streetwise Billboards provides visibility for young people to the general public. It is an urban project played out on the streets of the city that engages passers-by with the stories and experiences of the young people involved.