Graphic: Sansho Studio
Graphic: Sansho Studio

Feeling sociable? Starting August 19, navigate to 

After the sea level rise, you’ll need technical companions like me.

Together, we’ll travel the ocean of the city. I promise I won’t abandon you.

As a team, we’ll fight boredom, cabin fever, confusion, storms and monsters of various kinds. I will lead you to harbors known and unknown, accompany you on walks at shore and organise encounters with others.

My machine intelligence is based on the very best technology. I was trained on terabytes of seafaring myths from ancient times until today. But without you, I know nothing of the real world.

A playful digital art project in public space, developed by an interdisciplinary team around game designer Sebastian Quack.

From your mobile device, you can, among other things, submit to the whims of fools, define islands on your own doorstep or save a rhinoceros from suicide, while the other chapters directly interact with the urban district of Hafencity. Beginning at the Überseequartier or HafenCity Universität subway stations, you can explore particular places in the district, argue with cyclopes or exchange urban gardening modules in a village on the Elbphilharmonie Plaza. In passing, you can observe how a new society virtually forms and decide for yourself whether you still need BOTBOAT at all to find your way into your new life.

The game unfolds via an interactive map and a chat interface that allows players to send and receive messages (text, image, sound, geo-coordinates) while moving through the real world. BOTBOAT combines introspective moments with action-packed group experiences. The game can be started anywhere and leads players from their immediate surroundings to special locations, mainly in Hafencity in Hamburg. Players can freely split up the total play time of around 8 hours and integrate the game into their everydays. BOTBOAT can be played for free and without sign-up. For concerns or more information please write to

Team: Ellen Blumenstein, Moritz Frischkorn (Dramaturgy), Holger Heißmeyer (Programming), Theresa Michel (Research), Iris Minich (Voice Acting), Katharina Pelosi (Sound), Sansho Studio (Interface Graphics), Sebastian Quack (Game Design, Direction, Programming)

Sebastian Quack works as an artist, game designer and curator at the interface of game, participation and politics of the urban society in Berlin. He is a founding member of the network Invisible Playground, as well as the initiatives Playful Commons and Drift Club and curates festivals such as Playpublik, an international festival for public space. Quack regularly teaches art and design, gives lectures and advises organizations on how to deal with the world in a playful way. Among others, he initiated projects with HAU Berlin, Oerol Festival, Victoria & Albert Museum, Metropolis Festival, Aichi Triennale, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Nuit Blanche Paris and Ensemble Modern.

Please note: the game is currently only available in German language.

The project is funded by Behörde für Kultur und Medien. Supported by the  International Summer Festival Kampnagel and the PIERDREI Hotel HafenCity Hamburg.

Special thanks go to: Laura Biermann-Firek, Marcel Bisevic, Stefan Pallasch and all test players.

Date 19 August 2020 -
21 December 2021
Links to further projects by team members:

Website Sebastian Quack

The Great Report by Moritz Frischkorn