Making the Imaginary Real: Place Making In Video Games

Authors: Frank LaFone*, West Virginia University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: place, virtual, games
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Place is a powerful concept within geography as it layers experience over space to create emotional connections situated within space. Place is inherently rich and multilayered. As such, it has traditionally been challenged to adequately represent using traditional geographic methods, such as maps or even thick description. Video games and their associated technologies have emerged as powerful mediums of experience. Video game experiences are tied to imaginary spaces, yet these experiences have the power to transform imaginary spaces into powerful emotional connections for the player. In a sense, the spaces become real places to gamers. Understanding how games create these connections to virtual spaces can potentially provide insights into how we construct places from experienced spaces. This presentation will look into some of the technical processes which build virtual spaces within video games and attempt to tease out their broader applicability to place making within the real world.

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