Place is a very significant factor in our lives from our hobbies, fields of career to possible interests. Having taken Human Geography during my high school years there are types of scenarios involving place; environmental determinism and possibilism. The first states where and how you grow up dictates your adulthood while the latter claims it doesn’t matter where you come from, you’re still going to achieve greatness because you have it from within. Realistically speaking, though, I have to agree with the former because your current place of residence truly does mold a lot of things about yourself. The people you hang out with, the news and media you believe in and the opinion on community vs individualism stems from your childhood days. For example, Frankenstein taught us nurture was exponentially more important than nature and made a difference in the novel. People tend to use place to categorize others and to many it can dictate their life.
The art of place has been used in artistic pieces. In the Sense of Place exhibition by Arts Warehouse, photographer Robert Fehre expresses the warm tones of the summer beaches adding with the architectural style of the cities highlight a “place of excitement and happiness” (3). In a different perspective, painter Carmen Smith uses place to express memories of an individual that connects to one’s identity and self belonging. And while modern architecture is designed mainly for its sustainability and efficiency, Edward T. McMahon of Urban Land Institute argues its other main selling point is “community distinctiveness” (“Planetizen”). These artists advocate for a similar idea; that its inhabitants is what makes a location known for and how it becomes a worldwide name. New York City’s bustling lifestyle compared to Texas’ ranches, Florida’s heat and Manhattan’s Chinatown; it’s distinctive, has something for everyone and embodies a home in oneself.
However, with the current quarantine it isn’t simple to go travel to a new or different sense of place but place is not actually a specific location. It is a metaphor and through today’s digital network can be found online, on popular media platforms as well as in games. Of course, different generations have different values and memories of a place and it’s not a cookie cutter for everyone. Hence the only true way to experience more places is to keep exploring, trying new things out to not only find what we like but also what we don’t and so on.
In conclusion, the idea of place in the 21st century has multitudes of options thanks to advancement in the digital world. With each different launched game being a new world for place, America in 2024 will continue to see this constant growth in VR and traveling as it did in 2019. Personally, a place is somewhere I can call a home and it doesn’t have to be limited to just one. Honestly having multiple safe spots to communicate my thoughts is a healthy take on this matter and for now the gaming platforms are keeping me relatively safe. I think I’ll continue to stick with games as my sense of place and hopefully go around the loop and create games that become a place for online users to stay in.
Arts. (n.d.). SENSE OF PLACE Exhibition. Retrieved from https://artswarehouse.org/sense-of-place-exhibition/
Hsiao, A. (n.d.). Why Sense of Place is Worth Caring About. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://www.planetizen.com/node/56165