The Imitation Game: The Urban Sustainability Game as an Experience of Participation, Knowledge, Evaluation, and Project Sharing

  • Alessandro Rogora
  • Paolo CarliEmail author
  • Michele Morganti
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


We have the need to reduce both energy consumption and CO2-related emissions, but till now the actions to reduce these values have not reached the desired effects. In the last 20 years, for example, the increase in energy efficiency of the building envelope should have led to a significant reduction in global energy consumption, but the increment of floor surface balanced this effect, with the result to have an average consumption per capita that remained almost constant. We know we have to do it, but at the same time, we have neither the perception of the effect of our choices in terms of saving nor the idea of the social acceptability of such choices. The use of advanced simulation tools to make “appropriate” choices is largely diffused, but the evaluation of the choices has to be proved. This research, namely “The Imitation Game,” proposes the use of gaming to simulate both the social acceptability and the environmental consequences of a range of design options that affect both the built environment and the users’ behavior. The playing field is represented by a real context, properly simplified (e.g., a small municipality in the province of Milan), of which the georeferenced data relating to locally available resources as well as the local demand for energy and goods consumption are available. The different design choices, the technical solutions, and the behaviors adopted will continuously change the results, making explicit the consequences of the choices on a complex set of factors. The game is structured in six sections:
  • Nutrition: Food

  • Move: Transportation

  • Reside: House

  • Clothing: Clothes

  • Communicate: Sociality

  • Wellness: Well-being, culture hobby, and sport

The proposed behaviors must be adopted by players in order to be effective in the game (it means that to simulate a vegetarian diet the player must eat vegetarian for the entire period of the game). There are two typologies of players: active players that represent a specific part of the society (e.g., single, couple, or family with two sons) and passive players that are persons not directly involved in the play that are convinced by the active players to practice a specific behavior. The institutions are used to store or regenerate material and immaterial elements considered of high value (money, knowledge, etc.). The play will last a few weeks; at the end it is possible to have a winner, even if the game experience is as important as the final result and to experience and share behaviors is the core of The Imitation Game, as well as to focus the missing or lacking elements necessary to make the behaviors socially acceptable.


Gamification Sustainability Environment Role play 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Rogora
    • 1
  • Paolo Carli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michele Morganti
    • 1
  1. 1.DAStUPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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