The visual structure of fictional space in video games : a wayfinding research in games based on real world cities

Eskidemir, Kahraman and Kubat, Ayse Sema; (2022) The visual structure of fictional space in video games : a wayfinding research in games based on real world cities. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 542-550. ISBN 9781914241161

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Urban planning continues to play a novel and important role in creating video game environments with an implementation of real-world cities and settlements in their level design. Controlling a virtual character in a video game requires a strong sense of spatial involvement in a level design. Implementation of our physical world layout in virtual world with such devastating accuracy is one of the tricks in video game design to ensure this feeling. Video games allow to create different scenarios from past to future, from darkest dystopias to possible futures on historical cities or today's cities in our world. We aim to analyze comparison between in game maps and current maps of selected cities to study wayfinding of both virtual character perspective and people perspective. In order to compare these two perspectives, different games from different eras are selected; near-dystopian future of Washington; early 2030s, London. Washington model is interesting due to their game world and map were created based a viral pandemic event in game scenario. These games maps are compared with their real-world counterpart using Space Syntax method to obtain numerical values. In addition to analyses, the connection of landmark selection in games and counterparts are investigated. Axial and segment-based integration, and synergy values are measured with generated maps of both game and real-world equivalent of selected cities. Additionally, numbers of landmarks, distance and travel times were also calculated.

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