Urban Pacman, a project done by Ahmad Makary, senior design student at AUST, is the outcome of a long design process that fully explored patterns in urban navigation. After a long thorough study of the effects of spatial elements on travel behavior and cognitive processing among locals living in Beirut, Lebanon, “the Hamra challenge” came to be. On the second weekend of may 2012, this public intervention utilized the Hamra map on a 1km radius to recreate the 80’s arcade hit on the streets.
The project consisted of 10 players, 5 players dressed as Pac-Man and the 4 ghosts. The 5 other players, known as path-markers, are there to mark the trail of their Player as he or she runs through the streets. As Pac-Man moves from intersection to intersection, his position is being tracked, his points calculated and updated. this allows more team play and an enhanced experience.
Pac-man illustrated his understanding of the surrounding landmarks and other spatial elements as he ran between streets, thus helping with the examination of the player’s personal cognitive mapping and travel behavior in the neighborhood.
when asked what is the objective of this project , Ahmad Makary answers:
a child of urban navigation in Beirut, the goal of the game is to allow the population to take back the city by harnessing all the knowledge of its spatial elements, therefor intesifying the person/space relationship.