Christopher Murrie plays GTA Online as combat photographer

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.

source: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9akw7d/the-war-photography-of-grand-theft-auto

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more: https://www.polygon.com/2014/1/19/5325122/coraline-film-editor-adopts-unofficial-role-as-gta-online-war

previous post: “Gamers Act as Photojournalists and Document Street Crime in ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’”

 

Shoot the Bullet & Double Spoiler

In Shoot the Bullet, unlike other shoot ’em ups, the player cannot shoot projectiles at enemies; instead, Aya, the main character, must shoot photographs to clear the screen of bullets and take down bosses (hence “Shoot” the Bullet). Scores are determined by the aesthetics of each photograph taken, such as colours and bullet density, and the risk taken to take these photos. For each “scene”, Aya is only given one life to complete the objective — to take a certain number of pictures of the boss without being hit in a limited amount of time.

To take pictures, the film must be fully loaded into the camera (100%). The player can move at three speeds, the normal speed, the focused speed, and a super-focused speed which also allows for high speed film loading. When taking pictures, the player can hold the shoot button to control the viewfinder while the picture frame shrinks — this can be used to zoom in on the boss. During this time, all bullets on screen are slowed down and Aya cannot move. If the shoot button is held for too long, the film will get overexposed and Aya would have to reload the film. The player can also press the shoot button once without holding to take a snapshot around Aya. For every picture taken, Aya will need to reload the film from 0% again before she can take another picture. Only photos that contain an image of the boss (“Success” pictures) will be taken into account when tallying up the score.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoot_the_Bullet

Double spoiler is the sequel of Shoot the Bullet. It inherits all the mechanics from its predecessor, but adds camera orientations modes.

New to Double Spoiler over Shoot the Bullet is the option to change the orientation of the shot between landscape to portrait. The angle of the shot is automatically adjusted depending on where the player is in relation to the boss.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Spoiler

 

Warco: a war photography game

WARCO is a prototype for a first person photo/video journalist simulator, with the main character – a war correspondent – pulling out a videocamera ‘shooting’ in-game footage of the conflict unfolding in front of her.

“WARCO lets players shoot and record what they see ‘through the lens’ – framing shots, panning and zooming, grabbing powerful images of combatants and civilians caught up in war. They’ve got AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades – you’ve got a flak jacket, a video camera, and a burning desire to get the story. Every game space is embedded with multiple objectives and story leads for journalist Jesse DeMarco to find – a scoop if she’s smart, mortal danger if she drops her guard…” – dvafoto.com quoting WARCO’s website (no longer online)

“Gamers Act as Photojournalists and Document Street Crime in ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’”

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killerdead77 via cy_sperling/Reddit

An article by Justin Page on Laughing Squid from January 2014 says some players have been playing GTA V Online in passive mode as war photoreporters, documenting street crime.

A large group of gamers have joined forces and are acting as photojournalists to document street crime in the chaotic world of Grand Theft Auto Online. Their official Rockstar Games Social Club crew, Media Lens, was created by amateur photographer and Laika senior film editor Christopher Murrie (a.k.a. cy_sperling).

Link to the article: http://laughingsquid.com/gamers-act-as-photojournalists-and-document-street-crime-in-grand-theft-auto-online/

The GTAV Media Lens crew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gtavmedialens

MEDIA LENS reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/GTAVMEDIA/top/?sort=top&t=all

“A War Photographer Embeds Himself Inside a Video Game”

Ashley Gilbertson for TIME

The Last of Us Remastered is a post-apocalyptic video game released earlier this year on PlayStation 4 with an in-game Photo Mode, which freezes the game and lets players shoot, edit and share photographs of their achievements.

TIME assigned conflict photographer Ashley Gilbertson to use the Photo Mode to document the game’s protagonists as they fight to survive in a zombie-infested world. Gilbertson writes about his experience.

It is interesting to see how the photographer talks about his experience and comparison to irl war photography practice:

My approach with The Last of Us Remastered was to enter each situation, or level, and work the scene until I was confident I’d gotten the best photograph I could before moving on. It’s the same way I work in real life. Yet, I found it was more difficult to do in a virtual reality because I was expected to fight my way through these levels to get to the next situations. That involved chopping off people’s heads, shooting them point blank in the face or throwing bombs near them. If I failed, I’d have my neck bitten, with blood exploding from my jugular in some pseudo-sexual zombie move, forcing me to restart the level.

I initially played the game at home. But after a short time playing it, I noticed I was having very strong reactions in regards to my role as the protagonist: I hated it. When I covered real war, I did so with a camera, not a gun. At home, I’d play for 30 minutes before noticing I had knots in my stomach, that my vision blurred, and then eventually, that I had simply crashed out. I felt like this could well be my last assignment for TIME.

and he eventually detached playing from photographing by ‘outsourcing’ playing:

So, I moved to the TIME offices where Josh Raab, a contributing photo editor at Time.com and a former gamer, could take the controls and fight his way through the different stages for me. Josh developed a particular style of clearing levels – sneaking up on infected people, strangling them for a while and then stabbing them in the neck. I’d then retake the controls, letting me act more like a photographer. That’s when I started to make better images – the whole experience resembled an actual embed, with someone doing the fighting and me taking photographs.

link to the article: http://time.com/3393418/a-war-photographer-embeds-himself-inside-a-video-game/


26/5/2015 – EDIT: Adi Roberston on The Verge comments on Gilbertson’s in-game photos, highlighting the difference between the photographer’s traditional images and the photos captured within the game.

But the photos? The photos, even at their most dramatic and well-shot, are bland.

Games have certainly included diaries or personal effects from dead enemies for dramatic purposes. But if they choose not to, you can’t look up a character’s parents in a phone book. Virtual people are never going to give you a “behind the scenes” look at their lives. You can’t humanize somebody who doesn’t exist.

Link to the article “An award-winning war photographer futilely attempts video game photojournalism”: http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/15/6152329/an-award-winning-war-photographer-futilely-attempts-video-game-photojournalism


More reaction from Kill Screen’s Zed Tan who writes about the project criticising the “misunderstanding that typically comes out of traditional media outlets attempting to import their practices and modes of production into a medium that it does not particularly lend itself to”.

the relationship between traditional (journalistic and otherwise) media and videogames is not one where each can simply plug-and-play into the other. Building an experience that makes sense when dealing with meshing “real” and videogame worlds needs to be carefully done.

Instead of treating videogames as a medium merely mimics the way our world works, we should be trying to reach a new understanding of videogames. Alexander R. Galloway, videogames scholar, proposes that “[i]f photographs are images, and films are moving images, then videogames are actions.”

Link to the article “WHAT TIME GOT WRONG ABOUT THE LAST OF US”: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/what-time-got-wrong-about-last-us/