Photobomb (Milkbag Games, 2014)
The premise: everyone is supposed to be monitored everywhere, but a city square has been bombed by someone who wasn’t wearing their tracking ID. Six people there were unidentified at the time of the bombing, and we need to figure out which it was. We can wander around inside a reconstruction of the scene, replaying the last seconds before the bomb went off, watching a crowd mannequins move about and, eventually, seeing one drop the bomb.
We have no idea who that person is, but we can tag and track the unknowns by recreating photos which feature them. Everyone’s Instagramming everything nowadays, you know. Once we’ve recreated a shot, the suspects and bomb sites within them are forever painted bright colours as we rewatch events. Eventually we can find clear proof, but may not have time. With people baying for justice, we only have two minutes to identify the guilty. We might need to rely on deduction.
The photo-restaging is tricky to get the hang of, but jolly fun once you’ve figured it out. Watching the crowds buzz about is a lovely thing, as is watching bright suspects pass through them. Our one gunshot is pretty powerful and final, especially at times when we’re not certain. That’s a problem with many FPSs: shooting loses a lot of its power when we’re doing it constantly. And the mannequin shatters, not even seen as a person. Pretty harsh place, this city. It occurs to me now that I’ve never tried not firing or purposely missing at the end.
And! Being procedural means the suspects and square are different every time. Splendid.
Download page: https://milkbaggames.itch.io/photobomb
Escape Dead Island (Fatshark, 2014)
Neko Atsume (Hit Point Co. Ltd., 2014)
Attract cats with food and then watch them romp with your toys! More than 40 varieties of cats—white and black, tabby and calico—might stop by. Rare cats are rumored to roam the neighborhood too, but you’ll need particular items to entice those elusive felines. Each visitor is logged in your Catbook. Become a master kitty collector and fill it up!
You can even make albums of your cat photos, or save them to your device and use them as wallpaper!”
In [GTA Online] he’s begun to play as a “war photographer,” using GTA Online‘s passive viewing mode to follow other players around and snap pictures. He even started his own crew called (appropriately enough) “Media Lens” in order to invite other like-minded GTA players to contribute their own “firsthand images of the war zone that is San Andreas.”
Edited to have a sepia-like filter and the boxy shape of a medium format camera, his images look like a cross between the work of the famously macabre portrait artist Diane Arbus and a seminal war photographer like Robert Capa.
previous post: “Gamers Act as Photojournalists and Document Street Crime in ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’”
“Twentysix Gasoline Stations in Grand Theft Auto V” by M. Earl Williams, 2014
screenshot of book spread as seen on http://www.blurb.com/b/5454103-twentysix-gasoline-stations, © M. Earl Williams
26 Gasoline Stations was a book and conceptual photography series created by Ed Ruscha in 1963. In my version I take a 4X5 view camera and point it at my T.V. screen while I explore the virtual world of Los Santos in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This world is created to mimic the real world of California and most specifically the city of Los Angeles. As I visit this world from my couch I wait for something to catch my eye as familiar or visually interesting just like we do when we photograph in the real world. By relating back to this series of travel photographs but having the entire travel log take place in a virtual world of a video game; the work speaks to an idea of another reality in which we occupy and participate in simulated experience. When looking at a photograph the viewer receives visual stimuli of the mind that in return triggers a feeling that is most likely made up of an experience they may have had in the past. This process is not unlike the video game world that is created as an expression of an idealist reality, whose purpose is to provide you with simulated occurrences. This connection between these two mediums may be why the digital age has become so fascinated with them both.
“Twentysix Gasoline Stations” by Alan Butler, 2017
two page spread from book © Alan Butler
This work is a simulacrum of Ed Ruscha’s 1962 publication of the same name. The photographic panels in this version have been produced during drives around the city of Los Santos and Blaine County – the virtual world that makes up the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. Using out-of-the-box technology within the game, I have produced a version of the seminal photography artifact that accepts GTAV as an exploitable corporate reality, akin to the signs and images that make up our own world.
Videogame Landscapes (2012 – 2015)
Lace Veil, from the series Videogame Landscapes, © Justin Berry 2015
link: James Bridle – Picture Piece: Video Game Photography
Videogame Photographs (2014)
Untitled (sky 34), from the series Videogame Photographs, © Justin Berry 2014