“Gulliver’s World,” one of the Ars Electronica Center’s most popular installations, has been enhanced with an innovative new station!
“City Puzzle” is a simulation game that lets visitors play city planner. You can create a customized city and see what happens when your design turns out to have built-in flaws or when natural disasters occur.
The installation’s central table makes several different worlds available. With Magic Boxes, a city can be created out of various urban architectural elements (buildings of different types and for different uses). The individually laid-out city blocks react to one another, so it doesn’t take long for ill-conceived ensembles—areas that are too densely developed, for instance—to make their presence felt. A network of streets takes shape among the city blocks; the flow of traffic reacts to the architectural facts and circumstances, and simulates the way modern, real-time traffic management systems function.
A specially designed Wind Tool lets users determine wind speed and direction. Pound on the table to trigger a virtual earthquake and then observe its aftermath.
In contrast to screen-based simulated cities, the “City Puzzle” mixed-reality installation lets users control what transpires via haptic interfaces. “City Puzzle” is a fascinating planning tool that enables users to see what consequences an architectural intervention has on its surroundings and on the urban infrastructure.