BLUE Simulation is a game that models potential interactions between the city of Gao in Mali, Africa and Camp Castor, the UN Military base that is set up next to it. The game is developed as part of the exhibition BLUE – the architecture of UN Peace Keeping, which is curated for Het Nieuwe Instituut by architect Malkit Shoshan as the Dutch contribution to the Venice Architecture Bienale of 2016. The Venice Bienale on Architecture is one of the most important and respected events on architecture world wide. The exhibition BLUE is receiving high national and international praise. A complete list of the media attention that went to the BLUE exhibition can be found at http://blue.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/pers.
The BLUE exhibition presents Malkit Shoshan’s vision on an alternative strategy for UN missions and the military camps that are essential parts of it. Shoshan’s vision proposes to include design as a fourth principle next to the already acknowledged aspects of defense, diplomacy and development that together make up the doctrine of peace keeping missions. The BLUE Simulation game demonstrates what would be possible if certain design considerations were taken into account.
The BLUE Simulation is developed by Joris Dormans (concept, gameplay, code) and Karel Millenaar (graphics) in close collaboration with Malkit Shoshan (architect, curator of the exhibition) and Irma Boon, (graphic designer of the exhibition).
It is a fairly abstract resource management game, that allows players a variety of choices with regards to spatial planning, implementation of infrastructural elements and deployment of personnel in a military camp and its neighboring city. Every choice has consequences for the mutual development of the two places and for the well being and behavior of the people involved. The players aim is to make those choices that lead to optimal development of the city without compromising the security level and military goals of the Camp.
The BLUE Simulation is intended to be played in the context of the exhibition. Playing it outside of its intended context does not do the game justice: its unconventional visual design then lacks the content pointers that the player derives from the narrative and models in the exhibition. In other words: the actual content at play in the game is partly provided by the exhibition: The photos of the camp and the city, the 3D models of the possible stages in development, the displays with scenarios is the material that grounds the abstraction of the game in the political and social reality of Mali and other UN Peace missions. In this context the game has the crucial role of giving insight in the dynamics of the process Malkit Shoshan is proposing. All other elements of the exhibition are static.
Beyond the exhibition the game will serve as a crucial aid in the conversations between Malkit Shoshan and the UN military commanders that do the planning of Peace missions. Conversations with Dutch military commanders are already underway. General Timmermans. Commander of the Dutch Armed Forces, gave a keynote at the opening of the exhibition.
Best Co-Production: This game is a special crossover collaboration in which the affordances of gameplay are given a unique and essential place in the context of an internationally highly acclaimed architectural exhibition. In this sense it reflects the ambition of Het Nieuwe Instituut to make new relevant combinations of the strengths of different design domains in its presentations.
Motivatie 2e categorie
Best Serious Game: The BLUE Simulation Game as part of the exhibition and the scenario presentation, is making its way to the highest military circles, where it performs a vital role in illustrating the dynamics of the proposed alternative strategy for designing peace missions.