How Video Game Photographers Redefine Art


While game designers work to create immersive virtual worlds, there are those who wander around such spaces to capture the atmosphere, spectacular sceneries and engaging objects. The works of in-game photographers, such as Duncan Harris, Joshua Taylor, Leonardo Sang, James Pollock, or Ian Andrews, portray their unique ways of gazing at the world of pixels. Their photos range from high-res images tweaked in post-production to charming Instagrams snapped with a phone. Check out their blogs to see the projects and series they’ve developed. If this doesn’t inspire you to keep your fingers close to the Print Screen key, I’m not sure what will.

Many sandbox games allow these players-photographers to explore their environments with little restriction, panning their cameras until the angle and composition is just right. The day and night cycle in some games serves to capture the familiar places in different light, literally. Other images attempt to mirror war photography or put the spotlight on a specific game character. Here telling a story and other photographic concepts take on the same significance as they do for photographers working in other fields. It’s easy to dismiss the photos as mere screenshots, but some have already been featured and used by game companies to promote their products.

So take a moment to observe before rushing to your quest objective, and perhaps you’ll feel just as drawn to the game’s aesthetics. If you too have captured an interesting piece of virtual reality, feel free to share it! That’s what I might do next time I’m aimlessly wandering around in-game.

Whoever kept Elizabeth waiting | Bioshock Infinite by Duncan Harris
A slice of the good thing | Watch Dogs by Leonardo Sang
War never changes | Battlefield 3 by Joshua Taylor

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