Game Theory

Can a profession that tends to take itself too seriously learn to play seriously?

Mélanie van der Hoorn’s new title delivers on its promise to provide a seriously fun presentation and analysis of architectural games, games designed by architects, games rooted in architectural ideas, and games that offer new platforms for architectural speculation. But books, like games, are also interactive interfaces, and while Serious Fun won me over with its vibrant color palette and elegant graphic design, I was surprised by the difficulty of physically handling it. It’s more an oversized collector’s item than a back-pocket card game. Still, Serious Fun’s comprehensive survey suggests that structured escapism—increasingly, video games—can help architects reach new audiences, no small feat for a profession that tends to take itself too seriously.