Robert Reid is a freelance playwright, director, game designer and academic. He is Artistic Director of the Australian live games company, Pop Up Playground. With Pop Up Playground he directed the Fresh Air International Games festival at Federation Square for three years and has created games for the White Night Festival, the State Library of Victoria, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare, Melbourne Comedy Festival with Claire Hooper, VicHealth and the City of Melbourne. He was also Experience Director for Pop Up Playground’s newest fully immersive live game, Small Time Criminals. Pop Up Playground’s work has been presented at w00t festival in Copenhagen and Come Out and Play in New York.

We Play in Public


This paper explores the relationship between play and power in the context of civic infrastructure and institutional systems as manifested in the work of Pop Up Playground. It focuses particularly on the ability of play to reveal the hidden tensions of ownership, negotiate social power structures and construct social spaces through temporary/fleeting communities of play.