Flickr Adds New Virtual Photography Category as its Popularity Grows

Flickr Virtual Photography

Flickr is adding a new virtual photography category for bulk uploading, group adminning, and search filtering in what it describes as one of its most active communities.

Virtual photography, sometimes referred to as video game photography, has been growing in popularity over the last several years as more developers integrate camera-like features into video games. It has gotten so popular that most single-player adventure games now include the feature and some, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, or God of War, are extremely robust and provide users with full manual control akin to what is found on a real camera.

It has gotten popular enough that video game developers and publishers are going out of their way to support the art. For example, Guerilla, the developer of Horizon Zero Dawn, regularly shares virtual photos captured by its players on its social media channels and Ubisoft just announced a new competition and physical exhibition that support virtual photography.

Flickr seems to have recognized the practice as an emerging art form and is expanding its categorization system to support it.

“When you upload content to Flickr, you need to choose where it ‘fits,’ a category that accurately describes what you’re sharing. Until now, Flickr offered three options for content categorization: photos, illustration/art, and screenshots. Today, we’re introducing a fourth category, virtual photography, because ‘screenshots’ didn’t quite meet the needs of this creative and growing community,” Flickr says.

The company explains that it finds categorization important because it helps users better navigate their experience on the site.

“By putting your work into one of these categories, you can use filters to limit your search results by interest. For instance, virtual photographers will be able to filter by ‘virtual photography’ while conducting site-wide searches if they only want to see that kind of work, while avoiding real-world photography or other art and illustration,” Flickr explains.

The company will also include virtual photography as a category in this year’s World Photography Day competition, further supporting the art form.

Image credits: Flickr