Steffen P. Walz 2010

Whether we think of a board game, an athletic competition in a stadium, a videogame, playful social networking on the World Wide Web, an Alternate Reality Game, a location-based mobile game, or any combination thereof: Ludic activities are, have, and take place in or at, spaces.

“Toward a Ludic Architecture” is a pioneering publication, architecturally framing play and games as human practices in and of space. Filling the gap in literature, Steffen P. Walz considers game design theory and practice alongside architectural theory and practice, asking: how are play and games architected? What kind of architecture do they produce and in what way does architecture program play and games? What kind of architecture could be produced by playing and gameplaying?

“Toward a Ludic Architecture” is a must-read for analyzing and designing play and games from an architectural standpoint. Such a contribution is particularly applicable in an era when games extend into physical, designed space that is increasingly permeated by devices, sensors, and information networks, allowing for rules and fictions to superimpose our everyday environments. Including a maze-like, episodic, and critical discussion of interweaving “play-grounds,” “Toward a Ludic Architecture” is a playful look at the conceptual space of play and games.

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“This intriguing book offers a comprehensive investigation of both the conceptual and spatial aspects of play – a crucially important part of our urban life today. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in the joyful qualities of cities and architecture.”
– Iain Borden
Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture & Head,
UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

“Steffen P. Walz has created a fascinating, multi-dimensional map for exploring the relationship of games and spaces. His work lays out a solid foundation for understanding how architectural concepts can inform game design practice and vice-versa.”
– Frank Lantz
Creative Director and Co-Founder of area/code
& Director, New York University Game Center

“Architecture and game design have a great deal to offer each other, as Steffen P. Walz argues in this long overdue and rigorous meditation on the intersections between the two. In this highly original work, the author merges and contrasts some of the best thinking from game studies and architectural theory to explore both the space of play, and the play of space. To build his argument, Walz engages a dialog among disparate voices from psychology and sociology, philosophy, design and architecture, games and play studies, invoking the canon in each as well as introducing some new and relevant voices into the discourse. “
– Celia Pearce
Director, Experimental Game Lab, School of Literature,
Communication & Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology