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Serious Fun

Architecture & Games

We are all familiar with the classic architecture games, from building blocks that become daring structures to board games where the players compete for spatial-strategic advantages. What are, though, the architecture narratives invested in doll's houses, along which guidelines do cities grow in computer games, and what kind of buildings shield ego-shooters from their assailants? The publication Serious Fun shows and examines architecture games and toys, inviting you to be astonished and to reflect.



Architecture games and toys are a part of our cultural heritage. Whether made of wood, metal or cardboard, played on computers or consoles or in hybrid variations that turn the city itself into a gameboard, these games are part of our social history, too. As a deeply expressive form of popular culture, they convey how we perceive our built environment even while offering different ways to imagine it ourselves.
Serious Fun presents and analyses architecture and urban games that have been conceived and created by architects, urban designers, artists and game developers since the end of the twentieth century. From doll’s houses to construction toys and city building games, from SimCity to Block by Block.
The games are looked at from both a ‚game technical’ and an architectural-critical point of view. As much attention is paid to the games themselves, the way they look, their construction and rules, as to how they are played. How much opportunity do players have for their spontaneous, unexpected and especially subversive moves and ideas? What perception of the built environment is expressed through the games, and what are the options for interaction? How critical and innovative are the underlying concepts – do they confirm or challenge existing stereotypes, for instance, or do they address environmental and social issues?