Genius Loci

By Rob Dwiar

A grand tour of video game landscapes and gardens

Art | Gaming
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Collection of video game landscape articles

A signed copy of the first edition hardback, your name printed in the supports list, the ebook, plus a newly-collated, digital copy of some of Rob’s video game landscape and garden essays, as published on Eurogamer. The essays would be newly edited and include new content.
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Hangout with Rob

Signed first edition hardback, your name listed as a supporter, the ebook, and a video call (Google Hangout or similar) to talk about virtual landscapes and real-world garden design, plus a t-shirt, mug, badge and tote.
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Choose a landscape

Suggest a game landscape, garden or environment to be included in the book, and chat with Rob via video call to discuss your suggestion. In addition you will receive a signed copy of the first edition hardback, your name will be listed as a supporter, the ebook, the virtual landscape articles, tote bag, mug, badge and t-shirt. *Limited to 4
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Four signed first edition hardbacks, your name listed as a patron at the start of the book, the ebook, a video call (Google Hangout or similar) to talk about virtual landscapes and real-world garden design, the collection of Rob's articles, plus two each of the t-shirt, mug, badge and tote.
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Among the many incredible places that video games take us, it is some of the virtual landscapes, gardens, and natural environments that are the best. From rigorously designed palace gardens, to expansive natural lands, and from alien planets with weird and wonderful plants, to terrains imbued with meaning and symbolism, an expansive range of landscapes can be explored, traversed, and enjoyed in games.

Much like the 17th and 18th-century tradition of undertaking a european grand tour to visit cultural landmarks, gardens, and cities, in Genius Loci writer and award-winning landscape designer Rob Dwiar, will guide readers on a journey across video game histories, geographies, and stories, offering detailed appreciation and analysis along the way. Visiting games such as the Dishonored series, Dragon Age Inquisition, the Elder Scrolls and Assassin’s Creed, this grand tour will be an evocative journey for fans of video games and landscapes alike.

Supported by high-quality, in-game screenshots taken by the author to ensure every detail is captured, Rob will shed light on the background, history, typology, horticulture and botany, and landscape and garden design features, and reveal what real-world traits and approaches can be found in each place to give a thorough journey across a multitude of games and places. 

The landscapes, gardens, and horticulture found within video games have come on such leaps and bounds in the past few decades, that there is much to talk about, look at, and get lost in. Real-life garden design features and approaches now feature in game design; accurate portrayal, use, and combination of plants finish landscapes to a beautiful degree of detail, environment design has deeper levels of meaning and narrative importance than ever, and even the most prominent and high-profile games can see players engage in horticulture. Genius Loci will see all of this, and more, explored through dozens of places and games - some which feature more than one beautiful landscape or garden.

The working contents of the book is below, offering the current gardens, landscapes, and natural environments and spaces that Geniu Loci will examine, analyse and appreciate:

The Boyle Mansion and The Brigmore Manor (Dishonored), The Grand Forest Villa, Emprise Du Lion and Emerald Graves (Dragon Age Inquisition), Garden of New Eden (BioShock Infinite), The Grand Duke's Palace and Stilton's Manor (Dishonored 2), The Citadel (Mass Effect), The Arboretum of Talos I (Prey), The Gardens of Arcadia (BioShock), Red Creek Valley (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter), Shoshone National Forest (Firewatch), The vineyards and groves of Toussaint and the wild Isles of Skellige (The Witcher 3), The forgotten dark age landscapes (Assassin's Creed Valhalla), The Village of Yaughton (Everybody's Gone to the Rapture), The forests of Skyrim, The meeting of Roman and Egyptian gardens (Assassin's Creed Origins), Ancient Greek lands (Assassin's Creed Odyssey), The recovering landscape (Horizon Zero Dawn), The city squares of Karnaca (Dishonored: Death of the Outsider), The post-apocalyptic beauty of The Last of Us, Recreating the renaissance (Assassin's Creed 2 and Brotherhood), The lifeless landscape of Fallout 4, True Wilderness in Death Stranding, Kinship with big country in Red Dead Redemption 2, Natural navigation in Ghost of Tsushima, Heavenly & Hellish landscapes and the Landscape reveals of Oblivion and Skyrim.

Definition

Genius Loci (phrase); Popularised by 18th century poet Alexander Pope, used to describe the sense of place or distinctive character of a landscape. Evolved from the original Roman meaning which referred to the 'actual' spirit or god that presided over a place.

 

About the book

  • A full colour, high-quality hardback with printed endpapers.
  • Approximately 200 pages.
  • 210 by 286mm format with head and tail bands.
  • More than 30 distinct case studies.
  • Features more than 100 in-game screenshots to illustrate every detail.
  • Contains more than 40,000 words and great pledge levels!
  • It is our intention for Rob to sign the books, but if Covid restrictions are still place then there will be a signed bookplate instead

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$40  + shipping
151 pledges

Hardback

A copy of the first edition hardback, plus your name printed in the supporters list and the ebook.
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$55  + shipping
39 pledges

Signed Hardback

A signed copy of the first edition hardback, your name printed in the supporters list plus the ebook.
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