Video games will become an increasingly important tool for designing cities, according to Los Angeles architect and game developer Jose Sanchez.
Sanchez, who this week launches a neighbourhood-building simulator called Block'hood, said games could help both professionals and the public understand the challenges of contemporary cities.
"As architects, we have been trained to think of local scales: small, medium, large and extra large," the architect and coder told Dezeen. "But today we face global issues and we need new tools to address a new kind of scale: a planetary scale.
"By using games, we can engage a global audience in the problems that architecture is facing."
Block'hood, which is released on 10 March, is the latest game developed by Sanchez's studio, Plethora Project, which explores the relationship between architecture and gaming.
The new game allows players to create neighbourhoods that need to take account of environmental, as well as social and economic, factors in order to flourish.
The simulator involves creating city districts from a range of predefined "blocks". Each of these blocks have input requirements, which must be satisfied to create a sustainable neighbourhood.