Architects Choose Top Ten Videogame (Architectural) Worlds

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Architectural publication (for architects, natch) The Architects’ Journal has chosen what it deems the ten best architectural worlds in videogames, and… not all of them are what you’d expect.

Now, it stands to reason that people who are in a certain field for a living tend to look at their respective interests in a rather different manner than those not “in the biz,” so to speak. I know that personally, I’ve started viewing these games we all love in a different light than I did before I made them my job.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that some of the choices in The Architects’ Journal‘s “Top 10: The Architecture of Videogames” list are … slightly perplexing. All right, so. #10 is the world of the Mario Bros. Odd, perhaps, but we’ll give it to them based on how it “takes the layering of patterned facades in bright colours (sp) to another level.” Fine, okay. I can go with that.

#9? Castle Wolfenstein. Okay, sure, they give credit where credit is due – to design a castle with a constant swastika motif probably earns some respect points in their architectural books. #8, on the other hand, is the world of Tetris.

Wait, what? Tetris?

Tetris can teach us all a lesson in dimensional co-ordination and rotational symetry. Featuring just seven standard building components as the basis for construction, it takes a radical approach to reducing waste material. Tetris has an aesthetic charm too: its combinations of solid and void have proved inspirational for a range of architects including Slovenian architecture studio, OFIS.

Like I said, they’re looking at it from a different perspective. It’s an interesting list, and there are some more oddities, though I certainly can’t disagree with their #1.

It seems that where the schools of architecture and gaming overlap lies puzzlement indeed.

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