The Continuous City is a photographic journey through the most exciting, diverse and strange urban spaces of our time, those of video games. Structured as a travelogue through a rich tapestry of different virtual cities, it draws out aesthetic connections between game spaces across genre, style and setting.
But rather than simply catalogue these spaces, The Continuous City uses unique techniques to photograph them with a 35mm camera, blurring the line between the real and the virtual. The result is a collection of images that feel uncannily real but are rooted in a world of impossible architecture and unreal worlds.
From the obsessive reproduction of Los Angeles in Grand Theft Auto V to the fantasies of empire and industry in Dishonored's Dunwall, this book turns a dreamlike focus to these beautiful, bizarre and undeniably powerful virtual cities. The first book from Heterotopias, a digital magazine and site dedicated to architecture and games, The Continuous City is a rich journey into the impossible urban spaces of games.
About the Book
"Heterotopias is animated by a sense of slow-burning anarchic experimentation that feels in short supply in the churn of constant media production."
"Both beautiful and illuminating."
-Harvey Smith, Arkane Studios
"The long-awaited body of work to bind architecture and video games."
-Nick Capozzoli, videogame critic
"Heterotopias is a smart and beautiful zine."
-Martin Robinson, Features Editor, Eurogamer
Heterotopias is a project focusing on the spaces and architecture of virtual worlds. Having released 3 issues last year to wide critical acclaim, it is now entering the next stage in its development. The Continuous City is at the centre of this, but alongside it the zine will launch 3 more issues this year. Containing original game photography, beautiful design and some of the best and most original writing about games and architecture available, Heterotopias represents a unique project that brings a new focus and approach to the virtual worlds that surround us in our daily lives.
“At times all I need is a brief glimpse, an opening in in the midst of an incongruous landscape, a glint of lights in the fog, the dialogue of two passers-by meeting in the crowd, and I think that setting out from there, I will put together, piece by piece, the perfect city, made of fragments mixed with the rest, of instants separated by intervals, of signals one sends out, not knowing who receives them.”
- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
The spaces of video games form one of the most complex, contradictory and strange bodies of architecture ever created. Countless worlds, some no bigger than a corridor, others many kilometres across, none of which we can truly enter. Each one seems at once useless and essential, a space that can contain no life, and yet which is derived directly from it. They may have started out as labyrinths and playgrounds, but the spaces of games can now be said to encompass characters, arguments, ideologies, narratives, ideas and experiments. Each one is a proposition, no matter how small or innocuous. They propose new spaces, new ways of using space, of seeing it and understanding it.
These people are helping to fund The Continuous City.