Co-gnito: a Participatory Physicalization Game for Mental Mapping Urban Environments

Co-gnito is a participatory physicalization game that supports collaborative urban mental mapping through storytelling. Co-gnito, an abbreviation from “Collective Cog- nitive Mapping” uses gaming as a means to elicit subjective spatial experiences and as a method 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. However, its reward system did not nudge the mapping direction as expected. We also discovered 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 present three contributions: 1) a working participatory physicalisation prototype; 2) an augmentation of the physicalization pipeline towards collaborative settings; and 3) a set of reflective considerations. We expect that this knowledge can influence how to design participatory physicalizations in the future.


Georgia Panagiotidou, Sinem Görücü, Eslam Nofal, Müge Akkar Ercan, and Andrew Vande Moere. 2022. Co-gnito: a Participatory Physicalization Game for Urban Mental Mapping. In Creativity and Cognition (C&C ’22). ACM, 284–297.

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