video-games – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: video-games

spillway on simcity

At Spillway, Will Wiles writes about a series of contradictory tensions at the heart of SimCity: “…there’s a sheer atavistic thrill that comes from playing the game fast and loose, with all sorts of destruction and little thought of consequences. Your urgently needed relief road happens to pass straight through a small, comfortable middleclass neighbourhood? […]

walking city

Jim Rossignol (video game journalist, blogger, and occasional BLDGBLOG contributor, among other things) recently announced the start-up of an independent game development studio, Big Robot, as well as the first two games that studio is developing.  I’m particularly excited by the second he’s described, which is currently (though likely not finally) titled “Walking City”.  (That […]


[Screenshot from “Magnasanti”] Vincent Ocasla’s “Magnasanti” is a SimCity with six million inhabitants, which Ocasla argues represents the maximum possible stable population achievable within the game.  A winning solution, he says, to a game without any programmed conditions for winning.  Ocasla, a Filipino architecture student, spent four years constructing the SimCity — building the SimCity […]

robert overweg

Through Brian Finoki, I ran into the game-world “photography” of Robert Overweg (“Facade 2” pictured above), who hunts the worlds of video games not to run up a body count, but for architectural fragments and broken landscapes, moments where the rough edges of programmed rules find visual expression.  I recommend “Glitches” and “The end of […]

sid meier and peter cook

Serial Consign has posted an excellent short essay on the overlap between representations of cities in video games and representations of cities in architecture: Exactly what common ground do the modular megastructure of Plug-In City and the instrumentalized cityscapes of Civilization share? Both of these frameworks propose that urban growth is an algorithmic or procedural […]

simcity baghdad

[update: thanks to commenter цarьchitect, a screen capture from a demo for SIM Building, a program of the sort which likely provides the underlying architecture for UrbanSim] An unfortunately brief article in the latest Atlantic Monthly describes “SimCity Baghdad”, a video game developed for the US Army in order to train officers to navigate the […]


[screenshot from Utopia, a rather unique game that blended SimCity-esque urban development with a proto-Starcraft model of realtime combat management in a science fiction setting] Getting quite close to the (October 9th) release date for Cities XL, which is at least moderately interesting to those of us (I’d imagine a fair percentage of designers in […]