How Architecture Based Video Games Could Affect Product Specifications

Posted On: 
Dec 14, 2017
How Architecture Based Video Games Could Affect Product Specifications

Many of you may have grown up with Atari, Nintendo, and Sony Playstation game systems. From Pac Man and Super Mario Brothers, to the Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls Series, gamers have enjoyed challenging puzzles, adventures, and strategy games. Over the past decades, video games have become more complex, immersive, and interactive. Universities and many industries are utilizing video games to educate students and professionals. This is especially the case for Millennials, whose attention can be difficult to keep. So, how can video games affect building product specification. Let’s take a look.

Millennial Architects

Millennials might not be in positions of power in the AEC community today, but they will be making decisions about our built environment in the future. According to MediaGravity, sixty-seven percent of American households own a video game console or use their computer to play entertainment. Forty percent of gamers are female. Marketing experts estimate that the Millennial generation holds $200 billion in direct purchasing power and $500 billion in indirect purchasing power.

How do building product manufacturers reach Millennial architects or design professionals with a love of gaming? Traditional strategies don’t work. Most architects in their twenties, thirties, and even forties, are multi-taskers. Research indicates that young professionals are fundamentally different from previous generations in the way they think and how they access, process, and use information. Today design professionals are increasingly visual-spatial learners, able to multitask and interact with multimedia.

Video games may hold the key in educating younger architects, engineers, interior designers, contractors, etc. Building product manufacturers could be more successful reaching this key demographic through the development of video game education. The gaming industry has come a long way since Asteroids and Centipede. Today, there are several games that use architecture but do not employ it to educate design professionals. Here are a few examples.

The Sims and SimCity both allow players to create neighborhoods, construct utopias, or hellish urban landscapes. The game Calvino Noir was created by architect Dan Walters and is based on the architectural drawings of 18th-century architect Charles de Wailly. The most famous architecture related video game is of course Minecraft. How many future architects and engineers will have been influenced by this epic award-winning game?

Building Product Video Games

A strategy for manufacturers hoping to get their products specified by younger design professionals is to create a video game around their product. How can an industry that uses graphic enhanced tools like Revit not offer video game based education? The AEC industry is one of the last major professions not to use gaming which is shocking. The latest generation of physicians are being trained with video game education modules. According to the American Medical Association, video games are testing medical students about patient prognosis, their clinical knowledge, and diagnosis based on lab tests.

Suraiya Rahman, MD, assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California says, “You can create a game to mimic any kind of environment—the academic medical center, the community medical center, the VA center. We love being really good at something, learning something and getting better at it. Games offer prime opportunities for self-directed learning.” Video games that educate architects about product specification seem like a no-brainer.

The Future of AIA and LEED Education

The future of architect education is gaming. It is one of the most effective ways to reach young professionals. The company that puts together the building blocks for architect based games may hold the key to future product specifications. AIA education via games could help educate thousands of design professionals about products, design strategies, codes, and trends. Would your company be interested in developing an AIA CE course via online gaming? Where do you see the future of AIA continuing education?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank