Digital Doppelgängers: Converging Technologies and Techniques in 3D World Modeling, Video Game Design and Urban Design

  • Shaun FosterEmail author
  • Jacob Brostoff
Part of the Media Business and Innovation book series (MEDIA)


Real-time 3D computer graphics technology has advanced to the point of allowing game designers to visualize entire imagined worlds. At the same time there has been a huge growth in data gathered from and representing the real world. Urban design and planning practitioners have used GIS and urban form modeling tools to help structure and mine this and other data to enable better decision-making and more meaningful public involvement in planning processes.

Although some goals of game designers and planners are different, some goals are shared between the two groups. One group seeks to create a compelling entertainment experience, while the other seeks to influence the future through the shaping of urban form. Both share the goal of constructing a cohesive, credible and legible visual narrative about an alternate reality. As a result of these shared goals and converging technologies, there are new opportunities for cross-disciplinary knowledge and collaboration between practitioners in the two fields.

This paper examines the goals, new knowledge sets and tools of each field and explores cross-disciplinary applications. We investigate the potential for synergies between 3D game design and urban design. Finally, we examine what challenges the two fields face in order to integrate each other’s emerging technologies.


Video Game Geographic Information System Urban Planning Augmented Reality Virtual World 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rochester Institute of TechnologyRochesterUSA
  2. 2.MURPPortlandUSA

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