This is a question we must ask ourselves. We consider creative pursuits such as drawing, painting, and sculpting as skill sets to hone our skills then why not the platform that enables us to apply all our skills in one place and even start from scratch. A platform where we can build on an already available piece of land to discover various ages’ architecture to even step into futuristic eras’. It’s honestly more than we could have asked for; it’s served to us on a platter.
Here are a few reasons why anyone or especially architects should play video games:
1. Increases Strategic Thinking
There are various categories of games. One of them are ‘Sandbox’ games, these games provide the player with a multitude of options and a great degree of creativity to complete the assigned tasks in order to reach the goal. The key here to complete the tasks is in the ‘Choices’ that a player has to make which thereby help the person in developing their strategic thinking.
E.g.: Minecraft & Grand Theft Auto V.
In the former the players are given a blocky and infinite terrain which when they start discovering is filled with raw materials and open-spaces via which they can design buildings, it’s basically an architect’s dream coming true.
While in the latter, the player plays it either from a first person or a third person perspective where they complete missions with linear scenarios and set objectives, outside of the missions, they are free to roam around. A lot of difficult concepts are learned by the player here, like completings tasks, having time constraints and so on.
2. Recognize 3D space
These games trick the eyes to see the space beyond the screen, just like a film-maker would see or how a cinematographer would make us view; how space can be utilized or how games are played with depth and field of view. It will enable the mind to perceive changes on-screen.
It allows them to see how much space a particular building would take from all perspectives and even walk-throughs, maintenance and safety checks are done easily.
Let’s face it, a computer is an essential part of a designer as well as an architect’s life. The sooner one gains command on it, the better. Gone are the days of making physical sketches,and wasting paper after paper until you get it right, now everything has turned digital. If one plays games on a computer, they’re surely going to be tech-equipped and this can take you a really long way in this field given your hands are already equipped to it and you don’t have to start from scratch.
4. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Playing games of every sort improve hand-eye coordination (even mind games, pun-intended.) It helps in building stronger relations with video cues, improves motor skills of our body, and makes hands and eyes coordinate better. Just like dancing would improve your bodily movements; similarly, getting habituated to a screen and a sitting position can also be beneficial.
5. Recognizing backdrops/ backgrounds
Some games help in acquainting the player with the architecture of the bygone era or the upcoming one like dystopian or utopian, this not only gives them a visual idea but also an experience of being there and experiencing what it’s like to be in that era. Moreover, repeatedly playing the game would also help them in recognizing the things that lacked in those buildings and what they can do to improve upon. The same is the case with futuristic buildings.
Eg: Age of Empires series is a majestic video game series with every part transporting us to an ancient era that not only provides us with that period’s architecture but also gives us a glimpse into the history of that period by those character names and traits.
6. Train your Brain
It’s said that the more we train our brain, the better it becomes, just like everything else. In the same manner, our minds become less active and playing games helps them keep lucid and alert. One study has also shown that gamers are way more perceptive between shades of grey and can make decisions when given choice between two images quickly. Not only does this improve our hand-eye coordination and cognitive-motor abilities but also improves our knowledge about various things. Though, the strain on eyes could be a bit questionable too but that’s only when one practices these out of limit.
7. Stress Buster & Source of Income
It works as a great stress buster and helps people distract themselves or to keep their problems aside for a while. It also offers monetary benefits if one wins some tournaments that are organised at a few places annually or the option of streaming online while playing is the most feasible option these days, with one camera turned towards you and a mic to keep the audience engaged. A lot of people earn through this, one famous example can be PewDiePie.
8. Developing Personality Traits
When it comes to taking decisions or bettering one’s personality, these games can definitely play a very major role. Whether it’s developing leadership skills or critical thinking, they help our minds in thinking better. Moreover, a lot of studies have shown that some people who are anti-social in nature can also end up making new friends via playing and connecting with each other.