Expressive Space

Expressive Space: Embodying Meaning in Video Game Environments is a book exploring this new corner of the built environment. It’s my first major publication, and one of the first and only scholarly books analyzing video game environments from an architectural perspective. The book is available from De Gruyter, and a paperback version will be available in mid-2023.

The images included here are selected screenshots from the 12 video games analyzed in the book: Knytt Stories, The Night Journey, NaissanceE, Wii Sports, Taiko no Tatsujin, WipEout HD, Shelter, Shadow of the Colossus, Katamari Damacy, Thirteen Gates, SUPERHOT, and The Witness.

Back cover description:

Video game spaces have vastly expanded the built environment, offering new worlds to explore and inhabit. Like buildings, cities, and gardens before them, these virtual environments express meaning and communicate ideas and affects through the spatial experiences they afford. Drawing on the emerging field of embodied cognition, this book explores the dynamic interplay between mind, body, and environment that sits at the heart of spatial communication. To capture the wide diversity of forms that spatial expression can take, the book builds a comparative analysis of twelve video games across four types of space, spanning ones designed for exploration and inhabitation, kinetic enjoyment, enacting a situated role, and enhancing perception. Together, these diverse virtual environments suggest the many ways that video games enhance and extend our embodied lives.