Games are spaces of experience as much as entertainment. It shouldn’t surprise us that the photographic gaze, that eye for composition and purely visual aesthetic, finds ample opportunity for snapshots in these virtual spaces. In fact, it’s surprising that in-game-photography – for purely aesthetical reasons as opposed to documenting victories or snapping a pic of an impressive vista for use as a desktop wallpaper – is still as unexplored a country as it still seems to be.
[...] The art of in-game-photography is still in its infancy, but it seems obvious that, with constantly increasing photorealism and the popularity of open-world-games, more and more photographers will also look for inspiration and picture opportunities in virtual worlds. Games are places as well as entertainment; and after all, as Elliott Erwitt’s quote at the beginning reminded us: Photography has little to do with the things we see -, and everything to do with the way we see them.
In both still photography and video, camera work should generally be invisible to viewers, allowing them to focus on the subject being captured. The same is true for video games. Here’s a nerdy yet fascinating analysis of the camera in the legendary SNES game, Super Mario World. It’s so simple, yet so well designed that it’s not something you’ve probably ever thought about.
Rock Photographer is a new iPhone game that can be described as a mix between “Guitar Hero for photography” and “Pokemon Snap for adults”. Each level in the game presents real footage of “bands” in action, and the player’s job is to use their iPhone as a camera:
Just like a real camera, tilt your phone to look around inside level as the band plays. You can shoot from different positions to get the best angle. When you see something interesting happen, tap the screen to take a photo.
If your timing & frame is right, you’ll get big points! If not, you’re going to waste up all your film before the level is over. Special objectives are hidden throughout the levels waiting to be found. They just have to be taken at the perfect moment. Save up the points you earn to unlock hidden features, and become the World’s Greatest Rock Photographer!
New media artist Kent Sheely took some of his old photographs and recreated them inside the sandbox physics game Garry’s Mod. Each “virtual photo” took about 2-3 hours to recreate: Sheely had to pick out models, set up objects, tweak details, and position everything while looking through the stationary camera view in the game. Read more…
Warco — short for War Correspondent — is an upcoming video game in which the player takes on the role of a journalist named Jesse DeMarco. Despite being classified as a first person shooter, the objective is to shoot people with a camera rather than a gun. After venturing into dangerous conflicts and risking your life to snag some footage, you’re given the task of editing the video into a compelling news story. It almost seems like a Pokemon Snap game for adults. If they went a step further and made an online multiplayer mode, that’d certainly be… interesting.
Back in 2009 we published a post highlighting 8 video games that feature photography. One of them was Fatal Frame, and an upcoming spin-off of the game will involve using an actual camera during gameplay. Shinrei Shashin, which translates to “Spirit Photo”, is being developed for the Nintendo 3DS, and makes heavy use of the portable game system’s 3D-capable cameras. Imagine playing the game in a dimly-lit room, and seeing a ghost in your room through the camera — horror games may soon become a whole lot more creepy thanks to built-in cameras and augmented reality. No word on release date, or whether the game will be available outside Japan.
The Third Person Point of View Camera Rig is a unique project by UTSI PhD student Jason King that aims to create a wearable camera that allows users to view life through a third-person, video-game style point of view. A camera is mounted to a backpack, which then feeds the video into the goggles of the wearer. There’s even an Instructables tutorial that teaches you how to make your own, if you’re so inclined.
Regardless of whether or not this has practical applications for life, if it’s commercialized in the future a lot of video-game addicts will finally have a way to feel more comfortable in the real world.
French-Swiss artist Guillaume Reymond created this fun little stop-motion video showing Pac-Man being played at a movie theater in Switzerland last month. The project had 111 patient volunteers sit, shift, and change shirts over the course of more than four hours. This is the fifth video in Reymond’s GAME OVER project, in which he recreates classic arcade games with humans as pixels.
Self-described creative technologist Thiago Avancini hacked this Atari 2600 joystick into a shutter release cable — complete with an autofocus control for his Canon T2i. The controller is considerably larger than the average cable release or remote control, but it’s a pretty nifty. Avancini has more photos of the contraption on his site, but so far, no DIY instructions.