11.13.12

Are level designers the future neuro-architects?

You've played the polished levels that have been iteratively playtested; where you don't get lost and you know exactly what you're supposed to do. Some might consider this too obvious for a game, but in the world of architecture, this is precisely what buildings need. In an article about how neuroscience can improve architecture, Emily Badger asks us to imagine an Alzheimer's facility that could help residents remember who they are. It might be a long shot, but one biologist, Eduardo Macagno wants to bring architecture under the research eye (something game designers have been doing for quite some time). 

Macagno has been testing hospital design in a virtual-reality lab, and this work could bring us closer to that elusive hospital where, for example, no one gets lost. Other findings from the kind of research he is talking about may challenge what architects have practiced for years. For instance, hospital rooms for premature babies were long built to accommodate their medical equipment and caregivers, not to promote the development of the newborns’ brains. Neuroscience research tells us that the constant noise and harsh lighting of such environments can interfere with the early development of a baby’s visual and auditory systems.