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Video game franchise has taken the world by storm. It is design to trigger human emotion by satisfying one need to kill, venting of frustration and anger. Video gaming is used to de-stress, educate and kill time. People would spend hundreds of dollars in the gaming sector and this has make gaming the primary platform of entertainment and lifestyle.
1.2 Impact of globalization and gaming
The media has played the primary leader in re-shaping our future by imprinting images on how things should be. Images shown on advertisement, commercials, the covers of magazine and newspaper prove to have impact and stir up interest among consumers. Thus, making media consumptions as a form of manual for Life - A guide to live your life
Here, I am making a distinctive connection between the influences of the video game market, game production sales, game demograph and global culture.
The major and leading players in the gaming industry would be the U.S and Japan. Business competition has stir up due to many other nations eager to get involve and follow the footstep of both big players. This shows how important video gaming industry has become and how it conquers the centre stage of globalization. It is predicted to posses a huge growth in coming years. Statistics shows a steady yet gradual growth in the gaming sector from the year 2002 - 2007 (image 1.1), overtaking other media market such as film and music.
Leading franchise, Mario, created in Japan, has yield over 200 games since original release date back in 1981. Mario has then become the official mascot of Nintendo. With help from the media, everyone from every corner of the world will know who or what is Mario. It has turned itself global by its iconic representation of video game.
A side from technical statistics, market has showed distinctive trends. It is obvious how our male counterpart dominant the gaming market but what is more startling is the growth and impact of girls and woman showing interest to this market over the recent years. (Image 1.2)
In late November, president of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime presented several data points outlining the current gender breakdown of console play in the U.S. Reggie estimates there are 45 million people playing video games as the primary players in the U.S. Of those, Nintendo is estimating 26% are female, or roughly 11.7 million. - Wanda Meloni, Gamasutra
Factors such as online gaming and PC gaming are the key contributor, especially with the existence of social networking site such as Twitter and Facebook, Apart from your ordinary 2D-Planes of your computer screen, gaming console took a leap in providing both sharing and social networking into their programs. Sharing movies, pictures, music and gaming has never been a breeze while doing it in the comfort of your own living room. Such experiences have turn into a lifestyle and morphed itself into a global culture. With tool like the Internet, people from all over the world are able to communicate, share and learn other cultures. That is how the existence of game production catering to certain culture and country originate. It is evident on the gaming box art. (Image 1.3)
Despite these positive activities stir up by the gaming market, there are still problems that need to be addressed. Base on the research I have undergone, it is evident how gamers or consumers are not aware of the upcoming games. Surveys that I have done showed almost eighty percent of gamers surveyed are not aware of the latest games that are on sales. (Image 1.4) Advertising of the games has proved to be unsuccessful. Alas, most consumers who were surveyed claimed they found out about new games releases through word of mouth or the Internet. Website such as Gamespot will show weekly game releases. (Image 1.5)
2. Gaming Experience
Your heart is beating out of control; your hands are covered in blood, your eyes staring straight at him, with your finger on the trigger. This is your final stand, should you open fire? But he is a human being? Will he kill you? Or is this all a dream? The deafening sound of silence abrupt the surrounding, now its kill or be killed. You pull the trigger. He lay before you, dead. Before you know it, he slowly fades into the background. He disappears.
A typical scenario for every gamer who plays combat war game. The only difference between reality and virtual reality is the hesitation to kill a person in a game. Virtual reality has set emotions wide apart from reality. One is more likely to kill a person in a game compare to a real life event. Why has gaming eradicate every emotion in a person when it comes to killing another player? Well, the explanation is simple. No one dies in a game.
Virtual reality is design in a way that it will feed off most of our emotions without us worrying what are the consequences. Unlike reality, gaming allows players to redeem back their mistake by restarting the game.
It fascinates me how game design has the ability to create fantastic visual effects; immersive graphics and beautiful environment that consumed one and let gamers live their character through computer games. Amazing how this two-dimensional generating image let users escape reality and let them live a pseudo character. How or what about this moving images let us, gamers, experience this out of body experience? How can something that is not physical enable and leave a memorable marking of its existences in our mind.
2.1 Case Study
Virtual Guggenheim Museum designed Asymptote has designed a physical virtual world in a space. Challenged to break free from the standard web site layout, Guggenheim requested a virtual space to compliment its striking New York Museum.
Debut as "a perfect hybrid of electronic space and physical space", Hani Rashid claims "virtual spaces are designed with the same attention to detail as real physical buildings".
The design inspiration comes from the idea of three-dimensional spatial traversable space on the Internet and real-time interactive elements located at various Guggenheim locations. Guggenheim Virtual Museum will be the first virtual building of the 21st century to fully show the relations of art, space, commerce and architecture.
This virtual museum will be an ideal space to convey art and experience through interactive digital medium. Element such as the sound, image and dynamic fluid environment unlike any physical space are able to respond to the direction of the user without hindering its contents.
As highlighted in image 2.2 and 2.3, galleries structure are wire-framed to emphasise on transparency and opacity. This movement is base on where the viewers move in the space
Ultimately, architects think spatially and where there's a spatial issue we're the ones trained historically to figure out how to make people understand and feel the emotional, physical and artistic side of a space - Hani Rashid
3. Designing Virtual Reality to Reality
Time and space does not exist in a game. Distance cannot be measured and mass cannot be weighed. The physical manifestation exists only if we perceive it. Virtual reality is a warped space. Through this, I am inspired to design a permanent exhibition space in relation to the gaming cycle of life and death. It is base on the dynamic movement in a game and experiencing two-dimensional visuals into three-dimensional. This space will address the issue that was mentioned earlier; Promoting and creating awareness to new game releases to the mass.
Base on the definition of Utopia, both living and dead spaces will fully illustrate the position of bliss. Some see death as a paradise while other sees fear in death. Imagine walking through a space that fully depicts death as a form of Utopia, a paradise and an unforsaken world that detach itself from reality. Walking through a dark narrow passage with nothing but the shimmering star that brightens your way. A journey nobody has ever experience. A psychological journey that let users experience death in both euphoric and frightening state, far from tranquillity. It is a momentary journey that makes users of the space ponder and reflect upon their own well-being
The design approach is divided into three primary journey, reality, life and death. Reality is design to be grounded to the ground in which illustrates how our lives are tie down to our beliefs. Life is depicted to be hovering in between death. While death is describe as the answer to our entire question in life and reality that were left unanswered. Death space is design to overview the whole space.
Designs using three way planes, the planes are a representation of life, death and reality. It consist of lines overlapping each other, depicting how life, death and reality overlapping each other to form and create dimensions, depth, gravity and volumes. All this planes will merge into one core area that illustrates the gaming cycle. The different hierarchy of spaces and planes creates a weaving journey that makes users move in and out of spaces.
3.1 Life and Death Cycle Through Design
The journey begins with two entrances that were place base on the human traffic directions. (Image 4.1) As you walk through the narrow path of the dimly lighted surrounding, you are greeted by this massive, rustic metallic structure that seemed to be hovering. Struck with curiosity, you can't help but to venture into this foreign, alienated space that awaits you. As you walk in through the narrow tunnel, you could hear the surrounding of the environment starts to quiet down. Suddenly, the pleasant sound of silence hits you, the thought of a broken clock gives birth to tranquillity and an escape from reality you've been waiting for. It feels as if you are in a different world where time does not exist.
A long flight of glass staircase awaits you on the other end of the tunnel. (Image 4.2) With precarious footing on the steps, you climb the flight of stairs wondering where it will lead you too. The sight of the staircase seems endless. You never know what it is like to walk on glass. It feels as if you're hovering on the glass staircase as you see stranger climbing the staircase on the other side of the glass wall. (Image 4.3) You stop mid-way through the journey as you feel the transition of space varies from where you were from. The surrounding becomes vast as you see the exterior environment of the space. Move further up, you be greeted with a dark narrow space.
You question your surrounding and it finally struck you that you're in a gaming environment. The metal rustic wall, the lights, the intense bold feeling you get from the dimly lighted space that is clad with perforated metal walls makes you feel as if you're in a combat science fiction game. From the perforated wall, you could see the people outside the space. Alas, the people from the other side of the wall could not see what is happening in the space.
As you bask into the environment and take a new control of your journey, you see another staircase. Wondering where it will go, you decide to take the chance and proceed down the steps. As you place your footing, one foot at a time, you realised you are detached from the pervious space. You are back to reality. (Image 4.5)
It feels as if you're taking a break from an alter reality space and the decision for you to immerse back into gaming or get back to reality is left unanswered in this space you are currently at. As you explore the space, you stumble upon another staircase hidden behind this massive structure, leading you to the ground floor. You decide to proceed down the staircase. You are back to reality and proceed on with your daily life.
Various views on impact of globalization and gaming have been presented. It shows how gaming can change ones culture and behaviour but ultimately, the gaming experience one indulge in is nothing compare to reality. It helps escape reality for that spur moment. This let one rejuvenate themselves and continue on with life, just like how gaming enable us to restart a game when we failed to complete certain task.
This design will help to create awareness of the existence of gaming and its impact on a physical stand. Thus, helps both gamers and production companies establish a more prominent relationship with its consumers. It is not the impression; it is the experience that counts.