The Sims Lend Aspiring Architects a Hand at World-Building

Avid gamers and casual observers alike have probably heard of The Sims, a life simulation video game and one of Electronic Arts' (EA) most popular franchises. The Sims, which has undergone multiple iterations and expanded its virtual universe many times over the past decade, allows players to dream and control elaborate stories for their Sims. This "virtual dollhouse," as The Sims creator Will Wright describes, also lends players the ability to endlessly customize and construct their own houses and cities for their Sims–a feature that has allowed many gamers to interact more closely with the real world of architecture.

The Sims player Jason Sterling’s virtual rendition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Seth Peterson Cottage.

As Dr. Luke Pearson, a lecturer in the University College London's prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture, observes, world-building games such as the Sims are "a way of engaging new audiences into architecture and help engage in processes normally closed off to [non-architects]... [they] teach players how to synthesize architectural space in some fashion” (Metropolis). In other words, gaming platforms such as The Sims allow players interested in design who lack the resources, education or experience to pursue architecture professionally a certain level of autonomy and agency.

Mela Pagayonan's midcentury Modern inspired home in The Sims.

You can read more about the growing community of world-building gamers pushing their own architectural agendas in the virtual realm in Metropolis Magazine.

About this author
Cite: Olivia Jia. "The Sims Lend Aspiring Architects a Hand at World-Building" 05 Oct 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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