Selected Project Gamepost
Gamepost. Rendering courtesy of project team.

Josh Lee
Floor Is Lava




Gamepost is a system of signs that present simple, fun games that anyone can play, turning city streets into spaces for exploration and interaction.

Gameposts are flexible play spaces designed to fit onto sidewalks anywhere along Market Street (or any street with a spare stretch of curb). A Gamepost consists of two parts:

  1. The post is a vertical pole with a number of signs attached to it. Each sign contains the rules for a simple game. The games may be variations on traditional games, or they may be original works; some will be designed specifically for the neighborhood that a Gamepost is located in.

  2. The area around a Gamepost is marked (with paint, chalk, or tape) to delineate a play space around the post. The markings may be different for every post: one might have a checkerboard-like grid, while another may feature a labyrinth. At least one of the signs on the Gamepost will feature a game specifically designed to be played in the space around the post.

Gameposts are intended to fit into any section of sidewalk where there’s a bit of room. One might stand in the space between a parking meter and a mailbox, or between a bike rack and a bus shelter. When room is tight, the play space around the post might even incorporate existing sidewalk fixtures like trees or lamp posts.

The game signs on a Gamepost are designed to be playable at any time, by people of a wide range of ages and abilities, without need for special equipment or a human facilitator. Game rules can be printed in multiple languages, depending on the needs of the neighborhood’s population.

Some Gamepost games might involve playing in the space around the post:

  • Each player starts in a corner of the grid.
  • Do rock-paper-scissors. The winner gets to move one space.
  • When you land on another player’s space, they have to go back to the start.
  • The first player to reach the opposite corner wins.

Others might be about observing people in the immediate area:

  • Each player picks a color (NOT blue or black).
  • Look around for people wearing that color.
  • The color being worn by the most people wins.

And others might involve exploring the neighborhood around the post:

  • Think of a five letter word.
  • For each letter in the word, find a nearby business that begins with that letter.
  • The first player to spell their word wins.

Signs on a Gamepost can be replaced as new games are designed, or as the needs and desires of the neighborhood change. Custom games can be designed for specific placements, or for special events (like MSPF!), encouraging players to visit a local business or take part in a public activity.

A Gamepost creates a space for people to play, and provides games designed specifically to activate the space, in a form that naturally blends into the normal flow of street life. In addition, the short, simple games can be easily modified and added to by players, reinforcing the independent, creative spirit of the city.

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The Market Street Prototyping Festival is a collaboration between the San Francisco Planning Department and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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