Expansive Immersive Environments: A Comparative Study between Architecture and Digital Games

Dündar A. Y., Boyacıoğlu C.


  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Creating mediums that respond to the anticipated movements of users and thereby increase interaction potential via these spaces is the common purpose of both architecture and games. Those two phenomena have always influenced each other and evolved after the close design approach. As a result, the interaction between these two actions has shaped the built environment. Along with the modern era, the praxis of architecture in a western way has evolved to concentrate on result-oriented, close-ended, singular designs. Nonetheless, in the praxis of the game, the emphasis has always been on the players and their interactions with others. In the digital era, one could assume that reconnecting these two praxes would generate creative insights into space and the body. By examining digital games and architecture in the context of shared experiences, the study aims to question the possibility of comparative research between contemporary architecture and digital games through the agential structure. Research suggests that re-examining digital games with a spatial point of view has the potential to look at those practices from an outsider's perspective. Both games and buildings, as creators of immersive environments that expand based on the player's participation, share characteristics in narration/functionality and actual/interpretive dichotomies within the contexts of exploration and psychological reflection, respectively. This study is an attempt to illustrate that thinking through a comparative study in the context of actual mechanical, actual fictional, interpretive mechanical, and interpretive fictional situations between architecture and digital games. It tries to demonstrate situations of spatial agency through readings on building-game dualities such as Modern Architecture-Action Games, Postmodern Architecture-Narrative Games. The research methodology in this study is logical argumentation, which is applied to the architecture literature using ludic concepts. Finally, as an alternative approach to the spatial, ludic spaces, which are ephemeral environments that mediate cognitive senses and where bodies have appropriated the space, have been proposed. Within that perspective, bodies may feel more responsible for their environments, and the tendency toward status-quo design methodologies based on form-narrative hybridization could be overcome in one respect.