House of Gossip

Image by Vasylysa Shchogoleva

House of Gossip is an open-source downloadable game that stages and creates the grounds for reflection on conflicts regarding housing and the different viewpoints in a volatile real estate market. Berlin, late 2010s, all across the city real estate is changing hands fast, the market is hot. Will an investor find reasons to buy you out of your home? Or will your house community learn to resist?


4- 6 players /// Age ~10 – ∞ /// ca. 60 min.


Berlin, late 2010s, all across the city real estate is changing hands fast, the market is hot and many are investing, hous- es are revaluing. As it tends to happen, this situation has at least two different sides:

Scene 1

– “What about this building? Might you have found a good opportunity here?”
– “It indeed looks nice, but have we explored if it’s in good condition?”

– “The architect sent me this report, look, all clear.” – “It certainly looks promising.”
– “It’s time to act fast.”
– “Ok, yes, let’s go for this house!”

Scene 2

– “Hi, how was your day?”
– “Nothing special, yours?”
– “I heard rumours, two neighbours speaking in the corridor: the building is finally going to be bought!” – “Yes, there was a letter in the mail, look”.
– “But… What will happen to us? Will we have to move if they raise the rent?”
– “We have to do something…”
– “But we know nearly no one in the house.”

“When an apartment building is to be sold, every single alarm bell sets off for the residents. In view of the horren- dous purchase prices, there is a danger of being displaced by higher rents or even conversion into condominiums.”


House of Gossip is  an open-source downloadable game that stages and creates the grounds for reflection on conflicts regarding housing and the different viewpoints in a volatile real estate market. In the game, you will have the opportunity to play either as a resident of the house or as a covert buyer, acting as one of the house’s residents.

In a process where no one can be certain about anything, gossip abounds: In the game you will have to gather infor- mation form alliances and find your way to save (as resi- dents) or buy (as the buyer) the house! Think twice about who and when you want to share your information with!

During the course of the game you will repeatedly encounter your neighbours in the stairway to exchange gossip. Your main goal
is not just to understand to whom you’re talking to, but also to perform in front of others and form alliances for one of the two competing purposes of the game: Buying or saving the house.

Those who manage to gather the necessary gossips will in the end win the game. Will the house community manage to resist or could the buyer succeed in acquiring the new property?


Credits Game concept (in alphabetical order): Tomás Criado, Ignacio Farías, Lena Heiss, Marie Aline Klinger, Lilian Krischer, Leonie Schipke & Tan Weigand. 

Credits Game art by Vasylysa Shchogoleva

CC BY NC SA 2021 Stadtlabor for Multimodal Anthropology, HU Berlin.