Photography in Video Games
Video games can be fast paced, action packed and an assault on the senses but ultimately they are challenging. It is through this challenge between person vs. machine that we sometimes fail to appreciate the whole sum of the game.
Video games now are a massive industry whose value is estimated to be roughly 2 trillion dollars per year. The investment for a AAA rated game is thought to be Hollywood budget. Such games as GTA 5 has a production and marketing budget of over 265 million dollars.
The sum of these astronomical figures don't just go into "making" the game but go into aspects that the average gamer might miss or gloss over. One being music and sound. A huge aspect of modern computer games where sound must be realistic as possible. But here I am going to focus on photography in video games.
By adding the photographer into video games I shall call the practice "Screenshotting". This is when a player documents a moment or scene from inside a virtual space. The gamer can take a snapshot and then upload it to a dedicated blog. Some "Screenshotters" are motivated purely by the beauty of the game, paying homage to the talent of the developers and designers. "Screenshotters" explore and engage with video game worlds much like how artists of the past viewed the real world.
As video games get even more advanced graphically and hardware catches up to take advantage of graphic effects, we should be able to see more immersion in video games by treating them similar to real life.
Of course there are many titles that make the gamer stop what they are doing and appreciate the art that has gone into making the game. A sunset in Skyrim, a moody street scene in GTA and a soulful discovery of a character by "Screenshotting" their portrait.
Not only can I say that the video games provide art in their stunning graphics and created worlds but can also be an avenue for people to create art. Playing and fully experiencing video games and exploring new technologies such as VR we will begin to explore different sets of criteria that the producers and the confined system intended us to do, it will open up more possible ranges of experiences and exploration. Rather than just playing the game acts of meta-exploration will enrich the experience in both the systems and reality.
I have selected example of "screenshotting" below. I do not own any of these images, I have made a few but don't claim to own any. I use these images as a commentary.