Art and Computer Games
Art in the 19th and 20th centuries was influenced by photography and the ability to produce high quality printing. Art in the 21st century is affected by digital images and virtual worlds such as those created in commuter games.
In this post, I consider how my work is affected by computer games.
Computer Games are entire universes in themselves. They are judged on their artistic merit as well as their playability.
The following images are not the best examples of the genre. However, they show some of the skill creativity and artistic merit of digital games design.
in any game, each scene can be assessed as a potential painting in framing, composition and mood.
For example, here is an enhanced frame from the game Fallout 4.
Credit: Fallout 4
Fallout has created a universe in which the world is recovering from a Nuclear Apocalypse.
This universe operates in its own time space and locations. It is based on a physics engine which is close to our worlds, but not the same. The player operates within a rule base which is game related, and abides by the rules or pays the penalty by being ejected from that world.
How does the Artwork in Computer Games relate to Modern Art?
Games like this are full of images created by digital artists who work with libraries of images which they put together to created immersive universes
Most of these images, except for the FMV (full moving video) inserts, are at least partly interactive and may be modifiable.
These are virtual worlds. Users can sandbox (get lost) or perform quests, together or apart.
Users can communicate with NPCs (non-playable characters) or with each other. In my opinion this is interactive immersive art.
Most game reviews include assessment of the universe created in these games and reviewers may award points for artistic value and content.
An artist reacts to the world around. They respond to the universe and comment on their own personal response to what they see.
In my opinion, this is what the modern artist has to react to.
My compositions draw on computer games, social media, movies, illustrations or photographs and stories. My artwork does not aim to produce expertly drawn images. the work is not meant to compete with what is possible in the digital world.
Nevertheless, each piece depicts my reaction to some part the virtual world.
For example, in this painting, called “Two houses, both alike in dignity”.
In this case I am trying to describe how past stories continue to be re-enacted, over and over again.
Here I’ve used really bright colours. Such shades have only recently become available as a result of recent chemical experimentation.
I’ve used a really nice gold colour which is the result of recent work in paint media.
I’ve tried to give the picture a comic book quality. I’ve also tried to make it look like theatre.
The pair are clearly posing for a picture, possibly Snapchat.
I use bright modern colours and paints where possible because I expect a lot of my work will appear onscreen.
The work is designed to be “handmade” and without digital assistance.
To show what I mean we need to compare it with rendered images. I consider my style to be naïve and primitive in the same way as medieval manuscripts are.
I do not aim at sophisticated photo-realism in my art but focus more on an abstract representational tone. I do not try to reproduce exactly what I see but what we feel. I prefer to work without the assistance of digital media.
I also produce graphic art and believe that this is quite a different thing to fine art (although it can be great art).