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Playscape Concept Video from Hide&Seek on Vimeo.

We’re Hide&Seek, and this is our proposal for Playscape - a network of lightweight, robust digital screens situated around Bristol, acting as a source of many different types of interaction with the city.

The core use of Playscape is to broadcast simple game rulesets – invitations for social play – to passers-by. The rulesets are for games to play right there and then, with no special equipment or preparation, tailored to the affordances of the space where they appear. Is there a set of steps? A sundial? An amazing view? These can all form the basis for a game.

The screens will have sensors that allow games to be updated automatically depending on the weather, time, season, and other short-term variations in immediate context. We’re keen to explore the possibility of player input as well, either through physical elements such as buttons, or via mobile web pages. Playscape will also be home to larger-scale one-off experiences – made by ourselves, community groups, artists and game designers – using the platform in epic and unexpected ways.

It’s our belief that Playscape is something more than a one-off project. It is a digital infrastructure for public play. A digital element of the landscape, the content of Playscape can be developed, remixed, deconstructed and remade. We invite you to help us imagine how it could develop and the amazing things it could be used for.

Playscape does not yet exist. It’s inspired by projects from the worlds of technology, game design and architecture, and informed by our own history of work with location-specific games, Tiny Games, co-design and collaboration. It’s our proposal for the 2012 Playable City Award.