iPhone game app
Develephant is an iPhone/iPod Touch locative game aimed at London College of Communication (LCC) undergraduate students. It utilises a game mechanic to present a fun and informative way for students to engage with the surrounding area through physical exploration. The game was developed in response to students negative impressions of the Elephant & Castle which were largely unfounded as the majority had not explored the area and were unaware of the many facilities nearby.
Similar to French sociologist Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwes 1952 study of a student, on arrival at the college, the average LCC students journeys are limited to a small triangle with no significant deviations. The three apexes are the tube station or bus stop, LCC and Tesco, if theyre adventurous enough to venture out to buy lunch.
Develephant is structured as a role playing game with the player cast as a property developer who must satisfy the Major of London's plans for regeneration whilst also appeasing the needs of both local residents and planners. Players are required to visit specific locations to find answers in response to set questions. The student gains first hand experience of the area which enables their redevelopment decisions and causes potentially positive associations.
The game is designed to be played during a lunch break and takes inspiration from French writer and Situationist Guy Debords dérive. Confronting psychogeographical paradigms, it is intended to encourage students to take time out from their daily college life and to explore without preconceptions, to be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.