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New Yorkers Become Extras for Museum of the City's New Game

By Shaye Weaver | June 17, 2016 6:03pm | Updated on June 20, 2016 8:42am
 The game and exhibition will debut in November this year.
The Future City Lab
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UPPER EAST SIDE — New Yorkers at this year's Museum Mile Festival got to star as extras in a game that the Museum of the City of New York is producing for a new permanent exhibit coming this fall.

Roughly 80 festival-goers were recorded sitting, talking, playing or pretending to wait for a bus in front of a green screen set up inside the museum on Tuesday evening, according to a museum spokesman.

All the footage will be used in a game the museum is producing called "The Future City Lab," which aims to portray the New York City of the future, museum officials said. And visitors of the museum will be able to play the game once it goes live in an exhibit debuting in November.

The game is controlled on a touch screen and will let users change the cityscape by manipulating its population density, its transit, housing, environmental components and other challenges. Then they can watch those decisions play out on a massive screen on the wall.

The extras will be walking the streets in the game, they'll be seen in windows or sitting on benches as users change the environment.

"We all will have a chance to craft our vision of what we want the city to be, from flash mob block parties to urban agriculture," said Jake Barton of Local Projects.

The Future City Lab will be part of a larger exhibition at the museum called "New York At Its Core," where New York City's history will be explored through three galleries covering the past, from 1609 to 1898, present, from 1898 to 2012, and the future. 

The exhibit will have a number of stories about New Yorkers who changed the course of history and more than 400 objects from the museum's collection that tell the city's story.

Artifacts will include a silver cocktail shaker and cup made by Tiffany & Co. during Prohibition, a baseball signed by Jackie Robinson and other Brooklyn Dodgers, a Studio 54 guest list with names like Liberace, Ringo Starr and Lindsay Wagner and the original concept sketch of the "I Heart New York" campaign.

The Future City Lab will use the game to represent the future's possibilities.

"'New York at Its Core' is the capstone of the Museum’s decade-long modernization and expansion,” said Jamie Dinan, chairman of the museum board. “There has never been an ongoing exhibition that recounts the full scope of New York City’s history — in spite of the fact that over 50 million tourists visit the city each year.

"We envision 'New York at Its Core' as a gateway to the city itself, and, with its opening, look forward to educating and enlightening visitors about New York’s storied past and exciting future for years to come,” he continued.

The game and exhibition will debut in November.

"New York at Its Core" Greenscreen Shoot at Museum Mile Festival 2016 from Local Projects on Vimeo.