“Artists have used Grand Theft Auto V as a canvas for years. Now, protesters are doing the same.”

“Artists have used Grand Theft Auto V as a canvas for years. Now, protesters are doing the same.” by Hart Fowler, 11 February, 2020.

Realism, it turns out, can invite the expression of tensions that may not fully manifest in the real world.

source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/02/11/artists-have-used-grand-theft-auto-v-canvas-years-now-protesters-are-doing-same/

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“Re-enacting something that never happened”

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source: https://www.reddit.com/r/destiny2/comments/c1e59a/reenacting_something_that_never_happened/

which probably came from here:

Minecraft is great because you
can create things that never
happened
4:10 PM -
27 May 19 -
Twitter Web App

source: https://ifunny.co/picture/minecraft-is-great-because-you-can-create-things-that-never-zJ7csQVk6

which in turn reminded me of Jon Haddock’s image from The Screenshots series (2000):

source: http://www.whitelead.com/jrh/screenshots/

and Cody Walton’s The Unknown Rebel:a3db7e50681635.58d69ef26eb55.png

source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/50681635/The-Unknown-Rebel?tracking_source=projectScroller

Freedom Through a Lens

Freedom Through a Lens (Nicholas Staracek, Nic Lyness, 2017)

Freedom Through A Lens is a photography exploration game. Created by @nicstaracek and @FeenikxFire for #ResistJam, abiding to the Freedom of Press diversifier, in that the game showcases press and journalism through game play.

source: https://nicholas-staracek.itch.io/freedom-through-a-lens

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screenshot from game, played on 2018-07-02 (macOS version)

more info: https://startwiththetitle.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/freedom-through-a-lens-post-mortem/

“PLAYING THE PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE LAST OF US REMASTERED”

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“Playing the photographer in The Last Of Us Remastered: a new frontier of digital photography” by Jason Lajoie is an essay that looks at the in-game photo editor as a new yet undefined cultural form:

In The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich describes how new media changes the significations of old media through computerization. The result is that “[t]he computerization of culture not only leads to the emergence of new cultural forms such as computer games and virtual worlds; it redefines existing ones such as photography and cinema” (35). In the case of the photo editor mode, computerized redefinition of two media (photography and computer games) borders on the creation of another, as yet undefined form. The photo editor mode does so by transposing the operations of traditional photography (players can choose lens features such as zoom, focal length and depth of field) and the new media operations of image-processing software (the ability to adjust colour and contrast) into game options, thus enabling an inauguration of users who are players, photographers and directors of a virtual space.

read the full essay here: http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/playing-the-photographer-in-the-last-of-us-remastered/

“Press A to Shoot”

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“Press A to Shoot, Pokémon Snap – Shots and gamespace ownership” by Alexandra Orlando and Betsy Brey is an essay that focuses on the game mechanics of Pokémon Snap and the politics of in-game photography.

They draw a parallel between photographs and games as being both models, or “photographic referents” in Barthes’ terms:

games are models of experiences—not just depictions or descriptions (Bogost 4). The same can be said of photographs, which are also not representations of themselves, but instead, models of what they reveal.

The authors also trace a similarity between Susan Sontag’s “view of reality as an exotic prize to be tracked down and captured” by the photographer and the in-game world as a constantly reshaped environment, manipulated by the player. [personal note: to an extent this idea of Sontag’s photographer-hunter reveals (on top from the obvious political implications that made her work “On Photography” one of the most influential writings in photography theory) a gameplay element within photography, before there was even the possiblity to “gamify” its mechanics digitally.]

One interesting analysis of Pokémon Snap’s gamification of photography is the points-based system the game uses to distinguished a good photo from a bad one:

Each photo is judged on a few main qualities: size of subject, pose of subject, and technique of the shot. Additional bonuses are added to the score if there are multiple subjects in the photo, or if the player has performed certain events on a course that lead to special or unique poses (for example, getting a Pokémon to stand on a surfboard or sing in a group). The game privileges shots in which the subject’s size takes up about a third of the frame, the subject is in the centre of the frame, and is facing the camera. Some poses are encouraged over others, such as dancing with or attacking other Pokémon, but for the most part, all that is emphasized is that the Pokémon should not be facing away from the camera.

This leads to what Orlando and Brey call a “photographic colonialism”:

The fact that Snap gamifies basic photography skills and teaches its players how to create a single kind of photographic image indicates a single acceptable or desirable kind of photography. Not only does it teach just one style, but it also discourages learning others in the game space. This can be viewed as a kind of photographic colonialism—the limitation to a single viewpoint at the expense and extinction of others by a controlling power outside of the immediate environment. Snap disallows a variety of voices within its gameplay and photographic requirements, separating itself from photographic arts[…]

read the full essay here: http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/press-a-to-shoot/