Together in the digital world – generations playing together in Szombathely

In October 2023, for the third time, the annual event of the Szombathely2030 Program was held under the Budapest Design Week. The event, which was named "The Game of Ages" this year, took on a new format. Perhaps due to this, more than 150 participants took part in the program this year..

Role reversal
As the name of the event suggests, participants, both the elderly and the young, experienced each other's daily lives and challenges by stepping into each other's shoes.The younger generation, well-versed in the digital world, tried out challenges typical of the older generation in the offline world, while the older participants had the opportunity to turn back time and face youthful challenges.

Mindset transformation through play
At the event, 10 stations offered various games and entertaining skill tasks for the attendees. They could engage in activities such as target shooting while wearing goggles simulating intoxication, obstacle courses with "granny tanks," playing with VR (virtual reality) goggles, or traditional map distance measurement using a piece of string. The essence of these tasks went beyond entertainment; they aimed to facilitate dialogue between generations in the city and provide greater insight into the challenges faced by the other age group. One of the main goals of the event was to increase tolerance towards aging and emphasize that aging should be seen not only as a challenge but as an opportunity..

Design for the elderly
In addition to the playful stations and mindset transformation, the organizers also had a concrete message. At.home, one of the main organizers of the event, put forward a vote for the participants, focusing on the digitalization of elderly care. Participants could choose from six innovative ideas aimed at supporting the daily lives of the elderly or solving specific healthcare problems, selecting the design that appealed to them the most.

Community unity
However, the successful execution of such a large event relies on many participants and the support of various urban organizations. The Agora Cultural and Sports Center hosted the event. The organizers included partner organizations from the Szombathely2030 program, the Pannon Business Network Association, and the Municipality of Szombathely. The striking pallet installation was provided by Falco Zrt, while Szova Nonprofit Zrt. contributed to the creation of the community space. The eSport Szombathely Association brought joy to the playing couples with their PS consoles, and Modam Specialty Coffee & Store served delicious and innovative sandwiches to the players. Visitors had the opportunity to try out VR goggles at Alpok-Rehab Kft, while Ratmayer - Társasjáték Kávézó & Bár created a communal experience with their short but highly entertaining games. Eventbox made the event moments unforgettable with their selfie machine, and PTE ETK introduced young people to an elderly simulation.