urbanism, gaming, community planning
Architectural Technology | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Urban, Community and Regional Planning
The virtual environment is the digital manifestation of user’s transnational image of the city. It is an image conceived through small scale and short term interventions that prompt experimentation and iteration. Its development is implemented solely through active participation, community engagement and crowd sourcing. Adversely, planning experimentation in the built environment is a climate that conceives slow, costly and often unimaginative progress. Unreal Urbanisms contends that cities in the built environment can use the User Generated image of city created in virtual environments to collaboratively reinvent and re-imagine the design of the urban environment. In the absence of reality (ie. gravity, atmospheric conditions and real world internationally recognized governance) the computer-generated environments produced in virtual gaming environments are to be analyzed as simulations rather than absolute and direct substitutions for the built environment.
This project seeks to contribute to the existing ‘games for design’ framework and architectural discourse specifically in regards to community planning. Creating and planning communities in the virtual environment’s of Massive Multiplayer Online games can reform the collaborative process of idea generating in community planning by facilitating player agency in its design. Player agency describes the ability of a player within a game to interact meaningfully with their existing game-world. More than simple action/feedback interactivity, agency refers to knowing actions taken by the player that result in significant changes within the world. In this practice, player agency establishes inquiry about control and maximum freedom within not only the game environment but in parallel to the process of collaborative community planning. As follows, two imperative questions to be answered in the investigation of this project: Can massive multiplayer online games serve as a tool to stimulate player agency and collaboration in the planning process? How can player agency result in a complex legible order, rather than descend into visual chaos?
Olujobi, Temitope, "Unreal Urbanisms | A User Guide To Engagement Gaming For Community Planning" (2016). Architecture Senior Theses. 325.
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