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Melbourne sightseeing to be more engaging with augmented reality

A new trailblazing creative project will transform Melbourne into a giant playable game, according to a recent report.

The project will be combining augmented reality, public art as well as games design in a free mobile app that will guide users around.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced that the Victorian Government will provide A$ 950,000 to support 64 Ways of Being.

It is a free mobile app that will guide users around the CBD and surrounding suburbs, from Braybrook in the west to Elwood in the south.

It will showcase why Victoria is the creative state, pushing the boundaries of technology, performance and experience.

The players, who are using the app, will see specially commissioned artworks pop up on their screen.

This will include rotating live theatre performances, street art and digital augmented reality elements, comparable to how Pokemon Go works.

This cutting edge creative project will bring together music, art, theatre and games technology to transform Melbourne into a giant playground.

Users of all ages will be invited to ‘collect’ the experiences or join with others in a playful exploration that will showcase the city in a whole new light.

The aim of the game is to get everyone exploring as much of the city as possible.

To be launched in 2020, the project will be developed with the capacity to add new artworks and locations, as well as regional or international cities, in the future.

64 Ways of Being is the third project to be supported through the Andrews Labor Government’s Creative State Commissions program.

This program supports ambitious projects that break new creative ground, increase tourism and bring significant benefits to the state.

An expert panel has selected this project from a shortlist of nine and joins the ground-breaking First Peoples theatre project in Bagurrk.

64 Ways of Being is a collaboration between Victorian artist, educator and coder Dr Troy Innocent, games studio Millipede and performance collective ‘one step at a time like this’.

Ambitious creative projects like these are vital to the economy, particularly by attracting visitors, boosting business and supporting jobs.

As reported, playable cities connect people and places in creative ways. They appropriate urban environments and infrastructure as wells as provide ways for citizens to participate in smart cities.

Dr Innocent is a Senior Lecturer in Games and Interactivity at Swinburne University of Technology.

He shared that he is interested in games and play that are situated in unfamiliar contexts and locations that cross over disciplines, and get people thinking and seeing the world in new ways.

Central to the playable city concept is the role of art and play in transformation and de-familiarisation.

As games and play challenge and re-imagine the ways of being in the world, a wider range of creative expressions and possibilities can be experienced.

Playable cities connect people and create opportunities for people to participate in the processes that shape the cities they live in.

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