Zoya Street

History of Design

Promotional Art for Final Fantasy VII


Title of Dissertation: Actor-networks, architecture and airships – A design history of the Skies of Arcadia game world

I study the history of video game design in Japan since the 1980s. Unique to my approach is the selection of specific objects from within game worlds, treating virtual inventories like digital museum collections. The analysis of a weapon or a ship’s visual design and acquisition process permits the reader to discover a social life of things within a fictional world, as well as the real world in which games are made, sold and discussed.

Having looked at weapons in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy games for a term paper, in my dissertation I took Sega’s 2000 game Skies of Arcadia as a case study for the historical study of architecture and space design in a video game world. I am particularly interested in tracing networks of consumption and production, to follow the actions that lead to the construction of cultures in video games.

I presented my research at the 2012 Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco. My paper on materiality in virtual worlds was published in the course bulletin.

I work for the games industry website Gamesbrief as an editorial assistant, and build technological solutions for artists and designers incorporating digital systems into their practice.

+44 (0)7545 385 368




Courtesy of Square Enix



BA (Hons), Oriental Studies (Japanese), University of Cambridge, 2010


Editorial assistant, Gamesbrief, London, 2011 to present; Freelance translator, writer and art technologist, 2010 to present; Gallery staff, Design Museum Holon, Israel, Summer 2010; Internship, Chiba City Museums, Japan, 2008–9


Tradition Transformed: Contemporary Korean Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011


Materiality and Procedurality, V&A/RCA History of Design, Course Bulletin, 2011


It's dangerous to go alone! Take this historical study with you: weapons in the Final Fantasy series, 1988-2009, GDC 2012, San Francisco, USA, 2012