Make a Move

Invoking a sense of 'play' on the street.

A regular collaborator of mine, Ryan Craven, contacted me and asked if I'd like to get together with some other individuals to play an engaging game of tic-tac-toe. While I thought this was a slightly odd request, tic-tac-toe typically being a two player game (and not that engaging if you ask me), I agreed knowing that Ryan's idea would undoubtedly pay off.

Over a breakfast meeting one early Saturday morning we chatted about urban spaces, the importance of interacting with these spaces and the need for there to be more 'play' in public. Ryan presented the ad-hoc 'breakfast club' with the idea for an urban game of tic-tac-toe.

Having noticed the pattern that was created on the side of a local parking garage, Ryan immediately saw the potential for a large tic-tac-toe board. What made this idea most exciting was the opportunity it presented to those waiting at the nearby bus stop; a chance to play a fun game from one's childhood while simply waiting for the bus.

We took this idea, talked about the relative lack of complexities involved in it and decided to provide the public with the opportunity to have some fun and 'play' in their public space.

Over a week we created the materials, gathered the needed resources and then one afternoon took to the streets to install this basic childhood game.

While we didn't document it as best as we probably should have, over the course of the week (the length we left the game up for) the board was used daily, both for its intended use, tic-tac-toe, as well as a universal place for artists to sketch, people to communicate and for others to draw the almost obligatory outline of a penis (omitted for your benefit).

It is surprising how something so simple, a pattern on a wall, can provide the needed base to give a passerby the opportunity to execute some basic 'play' in the public space they occupy.