Video games and architecture converge

Keisha Burley

Kent State students, faculty and the public learned about the use of storytelling in architectural design at the Kiva Monday night.

Richard Buday, president and owner of Archimage, a computer-based visual arts company specializing in architecture, and the keynote speaker, led a lecture that explained a personal theory on how the world can be changed through integrating storytelling and architectural design.

“There’s a lot of anecdotal proof that storytelling changes who we are,” he said.

Playnormous LLC, a subsidiary company of Archimage, specializes in health education video games. Buday said that since he couldn’t change the world as effectively as he wanted to through realistic architecture, he decided to turn to virtual architecture instead.

The video game company’s entire goal is to inform its players about childhood obesity and how it can be prevented. The stories in the game are designed to change how players think.

Buday, a Kent State University alumni, will be supporting an architecture course that is being offered on the main campus in the spring.

“I hope we will be able to find the storyteller in architecture students.” Buday said.

Buday said the popularity that buildings with deep backstories have are “our opportunity to change the world.”

Buday used examples such as the home of Betsy Ross to get his point across. The house is now a historical landmark and is very popular among tourist groups because of the story behind it.

Keisha Burley is the architecture and environmental design reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]nt.edu.