Looking at video games with an artistic eye and analyzing the architecture and design aspect of some of the most popular and appraised ones, I had the opportunity to see and understand things that one wouldn’t normally glance at while submerged deep within a playing state. Firstly, I learned that even though in the past the primary function of architecture in games was to support the gameplay, nowadays videogame artists are putting just as much effort and creative ideas into designing the world in which the characters get to evolve. Some of the videogames presented in this journal have been rightfully considered works of art and displayed in museums around the globe. Secondly I discovered that maybe some of the most profusely used environments are industrial ones, dominated by steel structures, dilapidated buildings, with powerful lightning and reflective glass, a generally cold, impersonal setting that augments the suspense and adds to the player’s overall experience.
Some games make reference to real buildings or architecture currents in order to evoke some ideas or emotions. Other games allow the player to create their own built environment or straightforwardly provide new architecture which emanates a sense of unfamiliarity, of surprise and discovery.
“Architecture -- meaning both landscapes and structures -- is
what turns the bare grid of the chessboard into the living world of the
computer game. Its importance is on a par with character design in creating the
player's visual experience. Character design tells you who you are;
architecture tells you where you are. But more than that, it also tells you what
might happen to you there, and even sometimes what you ought to be doing.”
CMP Media Inc (http://www.designersnotebook.com/Columns/047_The_Role_of_Architecture/047_the_role_of_architecture.htm)