‘Press Start to Continue’

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I’ll be giving a talk at the V&A, London on the 29th of May. This is from the press release:

‘From Bauhaus to BioShock – how architecture and videogames overlap

Gallery 46b, Cast Courts

Author of the forthcoming Imaginary Cities, Darran Anderson looks at the relationship between videogames and architecture, from Archigram to Zelda. Learn about forerunners to virtual realities in art and design, the many various worlds that have been created and where this will lead as the boundaries between cyberspace and living space become blurred.’

If you’re in London, come along; it’ll be fun. I’m pitching a prospective book on the subject to publishers at the minute (as well as a mythological Lonely Planet-type travel guide).

My forthcoming Imaginary Cities book is also available to order as a limited-edition signed hardback via Influx Press’ site. It’s almost sold-out. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy, much appreciated. The book is a written study of imaginary cities in fiction, art, film and architecture rather than a coffee-table picture book so expect words rather than images. It will, hopefully, be the right words in the right order.

Regarding the talk, I’ll try to cover as much as I can in an hour or so, based on a misspent youth playing Streetfighter 2 in arcades and a misspent adulthood sifting through books and blueprints. The image above is the starting point; M.C. Escher pioneering isometric computer games in 1938.

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2 Responses to ‘Press Start to Continue’

  1. Often, as game developers, we learn without knowing. It is only after a self-guided journey through the rabbit-hole of reference gatherings do we, for example, find the gem that is Hugh Ferris, and understand the great role he (vis-a-vis his works) should play for, say, Bioshock’s Rapture.

    I very much would love to see a coffee-table book on the subject in totality. But your insight is perhaps the most valuable to artists and designers within the industry. That which helps the industry advance in it’s understanding of it’s own work. How to approach it. How to synthesize. How to avoid tropes and trappings. How to harness vision. This will always be most welcome.

    As one of the original developers of Rapture’s architecture, I feel the topic of architecture in games is rarely given the study and voice it deserves. But I am so excited you are enthusiastically embracing the topic and ready to engage and inspire the greater audience. Often our search for style is discarded. My sketches and studies are stuffed in closets, jammed in boxes, buried under reference. Telling their story to no one but themselves and the discarded sketches and notes around them.

    Thanks for championing the cause, Darran. Imaginary Cities is so truly inspiring and your insights are key. Would love to chat more.

    – David Flamburis

    • Thanks David, I’m a huge admirer of your work (esp BioShock & Colonial Marines) so that means a lot. writing the Imaginary Cities book I kept noticing how often games and architecture overlapped, right from the earliest days (both attempting 3D worlds on 2D media through isometric design etc). I took it for granted that there would be loads of books about this but, when I looked, they’re ludicrously few. it’s such a huge oversight demanding to be rectified. I touch on BioShock briefly in the forthcoming book but I’m almost certain I’m going to start writing a specific book on the topic; it’s a whole world that deserves study and celebration. hopefully the talk goes well and gives it some momentum or leverage with potential publishers; in the meantime I’d love to talk further about it all with you. my email is darrananderson1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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