We played our game ₹ubbish! with people from Hasirudala, an organisation seeks to improve the condition of waste pickers in the city. This was a litmus test of sorts – ₹ubbish! was to be played by people whose lives the game tries to simulate. How would they react?
Each game session that we have played so far has been unique in its own way. The game session with Hasirudala was different because the players were already well informed about the waste situation in Bangalore. Even the initial conversations that took place were tinged with responsibility and ownership – One player repeatedly said that “We must not let the landfill get filled!” right from the beginning of the game. When one player decided to throw his mixed waste into the landfill, there was a general outburst of anger and many players loudly reprimanded him.
Another feature that made this game session unique was the high degree of interaction that the players had among themselves. Players brought in their own personal experiences into the game. Many moves were done after thought and deliberation. Also, since the players were intimately connected with the situation that our game tries to model, they were intensely involved and passionate in their play.
The players managed to establish a Dry Waste Collection Center in each of the eighteen wards in the beginning of the fifth round – and in doing so, they became the first set of people to actually ensure a clean city and win the game!
We were given some valuable suggestions and feedback during the debrief session after the game play. Most importantly, everyone told us that they enjoyed playing our game, and that it does indeed give a good sense of reality.
For our next steps, we will try to formulate some questions that we can research through future game sessions; Some possible questions could be – “Is cooperation required to win the game?”, “Does the degree of acquaintance between players influence winning?”. By answering these questions, we hope to provide insights into the waste management situation in Bangalore.