Recently, I have found out that I am at the cutting edge of urban culture trends: I was doing Urbex the whole time. Urban Exploring that is. Wikipedia informs:

Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities.

Jokes aside, it’s alway strange to find out that the things you “just do” are in fact being performed systematically as part of a sub-culture somewhere. I remember it started when I went exploring the Warsaw metro with my dad back when I was a kid. Although, we weren’t as hardcore as those guys:

On the other hand, I did my recent explorations for Illucinated which was explicitly designed to tap into various recent cultural movements. I actually went ahead and listed them in my thesis. Too bad I missed Urbex back then. However, now that I found this connection, I think it shows that I’m on to something. Back at c/o pop people responded very well to the Urbex-themed levels.

But wait, that’s not the whole story. There is this strange feedback loop. Urbex is sometimes called also Vadding which comes from VAD, which is an permutation of ADV, which comes from the game ADVENT aka CollossalCave Adventure, the first Text-Adventure ever. Apparently, at MIT, the first Urban Explorers were called after the game because their activities were so similar to what you did in Text-Adventures. The bizarre thing is that Illucinated is supposed to be a modern type of an adventure game.

So anyway, I thought it might be wise to share locations with other Urban Explorers in Cologne. So I started a Flickr Group called “Urban Exploration Cologne”.

Urban Exploration Cologne. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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