Virtual landscapes : a practice-based exploration of natural environment design

Ali, U ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1562-429X 2018, Virtual landscapes : a practice-based exploration of natural environment design , in: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018, 27-31 August 2018, Cardiff, Wales.

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Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical and practical framework for virtual natural environment (VNE) design in computer and video games. By applying a practice-based research methodology, and a methodological ‘bricolage’, combining reflective practice, panoramic photography, virtual field trips and experimental design, elements of environment design practice were analysed with an aim to develop a new VNE design framework. A contribution of the research is a three-volume series of books titled Virtual Landscapes, which presents a variety of historical and contemporary gamespaces through high-resolution and digitally enhanced panoramic imagery.

The study supports Aarseth’s (2007) assertion that spatiality is the defining element in computer games as virtual environments are capable of being the raison d’être’ of a game; i.e. enjoyed in their own right. The study adopts Jenkins & Squire’s (2002) position of viewing digital games as ‘spatial art’, as such, games design should be grounded in landscape art, architecture, gardening and park design.

The study argues that gamespaces have a significant impact on gameplay, as such the research specifically examines game design & production processes, developing these through John Ruskin’s ‘go to nature’ exhortation, Edward Relph’s ‘existential insideness’, and landscape character assessments; conceptual models drawn from across art, geology and geography.

The research concludes by proposing a practical framework driven by viewing environment design from an alternative, spatial perspective. An experimental ‘SCENISM’ philosophy/framework proposed in this study intends to assist designers in framing and developing games from an alternative perspective.

Keywords: games design, environment, practice based research, landscape, architecture, spatiality, gamespace

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018
Publisher: Royal Geographical Society
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Umran Ali
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 13:57
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 13:57
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/48265

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