Recent Trends in Entertainment: Gaming

    A parallel industry that evolved from a purely public experience, arcades, is the gaming industry. Gaming has fully embraced the individual experience and integrated virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and integrated reality (IR) resulting in extended reality (XR) experience. The Arcade Gaming spaces have been around for a very long time and have changed throughout that time. Arcade games originated with Skee-ball in 1909 in Philadelphia. Later in 1931 the first coin operated machine Baffle Ball was created in Chicago. All coin-operated machines at time were considered gambling and banned in most states. Then in 1933 pinball machines were developed. These were also considered as a game of chance causing it to be classified as gambling and leading it to also be banned in certain states as an organized crime. In 1947 pin ball machines were designed with flippers to be more of a game of skill than chance making them more family friendly. However, were mostly found in bars and porn shops at the time.

    In 1971 the first coin-operated video game “Galaxy Game” was invented in Stanford University. Between 1972 - 1984 more video games were being developed. Between 1978 - 1982 business grew vastly with most popular machines bringing 400 dollars a week in quarters with 13,000 arcades in the 1990s, the arcade industry slowed down due to the availability of home video gaming consoles developed in mid 1980s. These home video games grew popularity in 2000 with the development of interactive games, such as “Guitar Hero” and various dance games. This increased popularity continued with the development of HD games in 2012, with cash prizes. In 2013 4D games were developed with surround sound, 3D glasses, and vibration.

       Hooked up to the broadband feed. The realism comes from taking hold of all the senses at the same time in a symphonic assault. To preserve even the smallest awareness of the everyday environment is to stop playing. The sound of a telephone ringing, someone outside or the throb or an aching wrist are but distant signals from another world, muffled voices vainly calling for your return from utopia. Due to this extreme immersivity, VR gaming is also unique in the degree to which one is cut off from others, and from all external stimuli. A calculated escape from everyday life, a dense, ever-evolving, uncontrollable collage of competing spatial systems. To be in a physical space, whether a house, street, office, plane, or beach, is simultaneously to be in a cluster or rival social, legal and information spaces. In the seamless electronic space of computer games, there is no such friction between heterogeneous spaces, no difference between physical and electronic. The electronic experience is so intense that it is experienced physically. To play is to be completely enveloped in the space of the game, a precisely designed interior, a total work of art. An immense immersive space of endless liquid bows in which the player bathes in a kind of prenatal innocence even when devoted to the annihilation of some kind of rival force, the solution or a puzzle, the perfectly simulated swing of a golf club or the construction of yet another empire.

    Then virtual reality (VR) gaming was introduced in 2014. The video game industry is seeing a huge boom in consoles like the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One introducing games that people also play at arcades. VR gaming is unique in the degree of immersivity it offers. Rather than staring at a screen and using a controller, one wears a VR headset which allows a person to try firsthand all the actions the avatar or character can perform in a virtual world. The user finds him or herself in the character’s shoes, literally, not figuratively. Like taking a side exit from a cinema and suddenly finding oneself in the street. For a moment, maybe even some seconds, the physical space around the  person seems to be part of the fantasy, a hyper-real twist in the game. An alternative reality that demands one’s total attention, a space that compresses the logic of all other spaces into itself. Its extraordinary sense of realism is not produced by the precision of the latest visual or acoustic effects, the real-time physics of complexly interacting objects, the uncanny plausibility of the artificial intelligence or the presence or other players.

    Architects and Game designers work together to create habitable spaces which provide an impactful creative experience to the virtual worlds and augmented reality (AR) and various processes. Yet many in the game design field argue that an architect’s or designer’s skills and expertise are not necessary in the virtual reality (VR), video game development. “Architects know all about designing buildings for the real world. Functional buildings, and material strengths. Video games are not the real world. Video game levels do not have the same kind of constraints. More than anything, the most important function they serve is the game play.” When approaching the construction of buildings in the “real world,” architects and designers create spaces  where people are grounded to the reality of rules and regulations and designed to meet environmental standards, evoke emotion, and/or provide an experience. There is a common misconception of an Architects or designer’s knowledge that is just applicable to building design and construction, when in fact there are clear parallels between real and virtual design processes. Architects and designers offer their expertise in video games such as Assassins Creed II or LA Noire which implement obsessive architectural detailing. Architecture and video games intersect in “video game architecture,” which as seen in La Noire attempts to replicate a space which may enhance the environment but does not necessarily serve the player. What is being proposed instead is design process applied to a video game, which showcases a different approach where one uses the creative process to design virtual space rather than make spaces for story’s sake. This provides a level of “subtle sophistication” Designing space with the purpose of habitability in a virtual world allows for a lot of creative headroom. The designs don’t necessarily need to be constructible but should still hold true to the most important part of any video game: The creative processes which end up defining successful spaces include understanding how people move through, use and interact with them. Significant time is spent understanding the client or player needs which then translates through to the design. Bernard Tschumi says, “Architecture is not simply about space and form, but also about event, action, and what happens in space.” The study of architecture in videogames can encompass social practice, interaction, and movement, tying in with Lefebvre’s refutation of space as empty. and De Certeau’s idea of space as a practiced place. Architecture functions as an object in a symbolic role, becoming an emblem of a complex range of interconnected effects that in some way tangibly relate to architecture in real life. Architecture acts as a simplifier that reduces these effects to a comprehensible and localized icon. A limited spatiality supports this simplification and allows the player to focus on the gameplay.