Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virtual Architecture Contests

New World Notes has a post about a virtual architecture contest for the design of a Second Life office for publishing house Meltemi Editore, an Italian firm. The english translation of the contest rules suggests that the prize is 5000 euros, and submissions must be made by May 20, 2007. The goal is to design their SL office in a 4096 square metre space with only 937 prims. Interesting in that this publishing house has released a book called Second Life by Mario Gerosa (it's on the front page). Feedback loop?

There's another architectural contest in SL: First Annual Architecture and Design Competition (via Virtual Suburbia and Inman). The deadline is Sept 1, 2007. There's no design limitations, and winners will be documented in a book, a real world exposition, and an SL hall of fame. The contest organizer is a real world artist and organizer (Stephan Doesinger) who contributes to magazines and books and apparently has a new book coming out, "Learning from Sim City". I've always thought that today's city planners and engineers and more importantly, politicians, should play Sim City to get a more fundamental grasp of urban planning. Maybe they should play and design in SL as well?


Overman said...

The Sim City experience is definitely vital as far as management of "things" goes. After playing SC for a couple years, honestly I felt like I could put it on my real world resume; the amount of info I learned from that game, and the degree to which my awareness of city planning issues was raised... it's been huge, and has had a very real influence in some real life decisions I've made.

Civilization (especially the middle versions) is another influential game in that regard, though not quite as micro in focus.

Second Life, however, is I think a much more effective training tool regarding how to manage PEOPLE more than is about managing THINGS. If I could, I'd buy all the board members of my homeowners' association neighboring parcels of SL land on a relatively unregulated mainland sim, and challenge them to bring that sim's landowners together and make it a beautiful neighborhood. SL can be a great training environment for tact, diplomacy, etc., usually with greater allowance for error than real life presents.

Odd that a virtual space can sometimes teach us lessons that are elusive in real life. Like putting on a scuba mask, which limits our line of sight while at the same time enhancing our vision in the water.

bllius said...

I know they've done studies on surgeons and showed that those who played video games made less mistakes (hand eye coordination?).

I wonder if those who played Sim City, etc. did better in business/management roles?

Managing people in virtual environments is definitely a steep learning curve. I think the site that does analyses on MMORPGS had a report awhile back on how large guilds are managed like businesses. Today's guild leaders are tomorrow's business leaders?