Importance of Games in the Urban Planning Industry


Historically, whatever values games bring beyond enjoyment have often been neglected. People who attempt to appear mature generally look down on games. However, this mindset is increasingly changing — and it is easy to understand why. The technology behind games has advanced to the point of virtually visual reality. The previously simple models that your PC could barely process now appear downright stone age. There is an ease of access; now, you can learn how to play iOS games on a PC with just a button click. You can know more information on other games on TechiePlus.

Planning Games

In her TED talk, Karoliina Korppoo explains how the SimCity game opens up city planning questions and can produce results applicable in real life. Similarly, crowd-sourced ideas are an excellent tool for cities of the future. With millions of minds active in the virtual world, these ideas could be translated into real-life city planning solutions. This is just one example of how the SimCity game transforms the city planning industry.

For a long time, the use of games and game concepts has been a distinct strategy in the context of urban planning and development. There has been an increase in the number of games expressly created to help decision-making and public engagement in planning processes and urban planner education. However, there is a lack of examination of urban games in terms of their potential contribution to the subject of urban planning.

The design of a city-building game requires managing many different resources. In addition to natural resources, cities must account for things such as organic waste, greywater, electricity, and labor. The game must also consider how the inputs affect the outputs. It must also account for the impact of different resources on the economy. The game must consider all of these factors and balance them to create a successful city.

Meaning Behind Games

Games are gaining traction to promote meaningful conversation on today’s most critical urban planning concerns. Interactive urban development and planning games may give a fun and engaging means of bringing divergent sets of stakeholders to the table through simulations, role acting, and even the usage of LEGO bricks.

These games eliminate the frightening environment that is sometimes perceived in more official meetings, allowing players to speak with one another more informally while jointly considering potential avenues of progress.

By detangling components and dividing them down into smaller, more intelligible bits, games can help simplify complicated and impossible situations. Furthermore, role-playing games may push participants out of their comfort zone, allowing them to begin to comprehend and observe conditions from a new viewpoint, such as through the eyes and experiences, shedding light on concerns they might otherwise ignore.

Hybrid digital/analog game for urban planning

There are several instances of hybridity. It is common in nature: new species of plants and animals are born from the blending of two types of energy. Similarly, hybrid cars run on both gasoline and electricity. Developing a mixed digital/analog game is an excellent example of hybridity. Combined games are not only exciting but also useful in many ways, from urban planning to other sectors.

A hybrid digital/analog game for the urban planning industry can help students learn about personal finance. Individuals’ financial goals are determined by how they choose to manage their finances. In urban planning, this kind of game can help students identify and assess what types of assets are valuable. By learning about personal finance, students will be better equipped to manage their financial resources and understand the importance of saving. In addition, the game will help people learn about the importance of financial planning.

Urban Games

A growing variety of urban games are being developed to enhance public awareness of urban challenges. Those games, in general, do not have a clear target demographic instead of attempting to reach a wider audience and include as many people as possible. The design of games aimed at raising awareness of location-specific concerns and encouraging active civic involvement in the co-creation of urban space is inextricably related to a specific urban context.

Ubiquitous games

As a result, universal games, which take place in specific public locations and are available to everyone, are ideally adapted to achieving these aims. Game space and real space merge in ubiquitous urban games since gaming actions occur in actual public areas, including spaces, objects, and people outside the magic circle and in real-time.

Pervasive games

They penetrate, expand, and distort typical game boundaries, leaking from the realm of the game into the realm of the everyday. As a result, pervasive urban games may accidentally involve the broader public in gaming experiences dealing with severe urban issues.

These kinds of urban games often encourage people to actively participate in changing the urban environment through informal, bottom-up actions. They are usually unconnected to traditional planning methods. It is challenging to acquire empirical data on the effectiveness of those games and data from participants due to their open nature.

A research-based approach to urban planning

Research-based approaches to urban planning focus on the interrelationships of infrastructure systems. Specifically, the program examines the synergies among land use planning, engineering, economics, and sociology. By applying these methods to the design of cities, planners can make intelligent decisions and avoid wasting resources. This approach has many advantages. It’s also practical and efficient, allowing city planners to focus on specific issues, like traffic congestion.

Research-based approaches emphasize social equity and sensitivity to environmental issues among its benefits. They are a more practical approach to urban planning than other approaches, as research-based planning incorporates community participation, public input, and scientific methods. In addition to the social and political aspects, urban planning involves scientific processes, considerations of transportation and natural resources, and land-use patterns. Moreover, urban planners are committed to improving the city’s residents’ health and reducing CO2 emissions.

Educational Aspect

Games may have a massive role in shaping the future education system. Simulation games may teach people about the planning and decision-making processes. Players must deal with complicated conflict scenarios in a short amount of time, which encourages them to think creatively and forces them to absorb and evaluate the issue rapidly. As a result, simulation games have become a well-established technique in the academic training of urban planners. As technology advances, more and more videogames are being used as didactic aids in urban planning instruction.

Urban Planning and Games

Urban planners can improve people’s awareness of urban concerns and include diverse socioeconomic groups in participatory planning procedures because of their ludic and engaging qualities. Games may help real-world decision-making processes by encouraging dialogue and facilitating data collection. Furthermore, urban planners may apply games and game principles in education and professional training. Different genres can be utilized for various purposes.

A rising number of games are being developed expressly for planning purposes. Nonetheless, there is little evidence of the effects of such humorous planning methods. On the one hand, more quantitative data on the success of urban planning games is required; on the other hand, more qualitative data is necessary to understand how games might operate in this unique setting.

However, several solid practices and techniques may guide future study and development of urban games. Further evaluations of games made within urban development can be used to generate recommendations for game design with specific goals.

Despite the popularity of fun urban planning and game-based learning, urban games have failed to gain educational traction—to a lack of connection between this material and the curriculum. Knowledge of the urban environment is almost seldom linked to the curriculum. This makes it more complex.

There is, however, research on the incorporation of urban games into institutional learning contexts. More study is needed to determine the usefulness of urban games in student learning outcomes, attitudes, and thematic connections to the curriculum.

Impact of games on city planning

As a society, video games have changed the way we design cities. The first city builder video game, Sim City, encouraged citizens to create a realistic-looking city. Though it’s a video game, this game influenced the field of urban design by fostering a dialogue about city planning and sustainability.

Today, dozens of cities are created by players. Sim City is a popular choice among young and old alike. It is the most well-known and successful of these games, and it has been around for over two decades. Architects have used SimCity as a tool for their real-life projects. Another serious game, Tygron, has recently been adopted by architects to create better models of cities. It uses actual city datasets and indicators for its virtual world. Its developers hope that the game’s popularity will spur further innovation in the city planning industry.

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