Immersive Realities: An Expansion Pack for Landscape Architecture
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While studying abroad in Berlin, I had the experience of exploring a city the way I would explore a video game. I allowed myself to be led by curiosity, thoroughly investigated my surroundings, and was frequently delighted by my findings. A simple walk felt like an adventure. It was a completely immersive experience, just like a good video game. The hundred billion dollar video game industry has developed remarkable tools to design virtual spaces that create memorable experiences for the player. The environments must be continuously engaging, because if the player gets bored, the game is likely to be a commercial failure. These requirements have shaped video game design to focus specifically on immersive player experience. Landscape architects design for immersive user experience as well. However, the breadth of their responsibilities (to clients, contractors, building codes, the environment, stakeholders, etc.) mean that their work is less narrowly focused on user experience. This thesis is a foray into video game environment design, with the intention of harvesting lessons learned from designing virtual space and sharing them with designers of the built environment.
- Landscape architecture