Architecture and gaming

Alla Varney in The Escapist has an interesting piece about gaming and architecture. Some excerpts that I found relevant (some parts are quotes from an interview of Andrew Hudson-Smith):

"Slowly, architects - not software architects, the brick-and-mortar kind - are starting to notice. They're gradually repurposing 3-D computer game engines to visualize real-world building designs. (...) Remember how machinima inspired the game community's budding filmmakers? Now, in the same way, the architectural use of photorealistic 3-D game engines heralds an imminent and exciting new pursuit. (...) Of course, architects already use advanced modeling software (...) In comparison to game engines, architectural packages need heavy hardware, aren't optimized for real-time walkthroughs, and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. (...) That's the view from the architect's side. Should gamers care? Will ordinary gamers really want to use their favorite games to design, not deathmatch and capture-the-flag, but mundane buildings? (...) Early adopters may include the vocal minority of players in massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) who enjoy player-created housing. They'll tinker obsessively with their dream houses, like your sister playing The Sims. After that, the next city's worth of game buildings may arise in - wait for it - machinima nonfiction documentaries."

Why do I blog this? some good points here but the author did not deal with the notion of simulation, how some architect study people flow in space/buildings (supermarket). It would be curious to study more what architects can do with regards to gaming practices, spatial behavior in games and stuff like that; not only the tools but behavior.

For example, looking at "consumption of space" in a building (the equivalent to what I described yesterday as examples of playtest), the intensity of places usage, interactions, with what objects, etc.