THE BEAUTY OF TECHNOLOGY: HOW VIDEO GAMES HAVE BECOME WORKS OF ART
Turning an experience or memory into a piece of art is something that creatives have been doing since time immemorial. Whether it’s the serenity of nature in spring or a bustling city scene, every experience has the potential to become a piece of art. In recent years, one medium that’s inspired artists around the world is video games. Powered by technology that’s impressively advanced, these games are often described as pieces of art in their own right. From the distinctly Asian comic landscapes in Katamari Damacy to the photo-realism of Electronic Art’s Crysis, video games offer beauty in their own ways.
With designers given the freedom to make masterpieces on the screen, it’s little wonder that artists on the other side have been inspired to create something of their own. Towards the more traditional end of the artistic spectrum, Tim McDonagh was directly inspired by his childhood days and a game known as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Developed by Nintendo, this action-adventure game featured highly detailed environments that had a real impact on McDonagh’s future career. Talking to medium.com, McDonagh explained that he was captivated by Zelda and the level of detail made him appreciate the impact depth can have on an audience.
Moving beyond the traditional canvass McDonagh used to paint The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, games of a different type have also been inspired by the artistry of video games. Thanks to modern technology, online casino sites are now able to offer games that are packed with colour and life. Indeed, unlike traditional slot machines that are nothing but a collection of mechanical reels and lights, online games are like living paintings. Gonzo’s Quest is perhaps the best example of this when you cast a critical eye over the latest online slots. Instead of traditional symbols, you’ll see blocks decorated in traditional Aztec designs. The level of detail in these blocks, from the engravings to weathered cracks, is something exemplifies the how art and gaming have become synonymous in the last two decades.
Away from the side of art where brush strokes and computer code create a masterpiece, the work of David Bull stands as a final example of gaming’s influence on art. Latching on the zeitgeist and indulging his experiences as a gamer, Bull created a series of wood prints for the Ukiyo-e Heroes collection. Aside from being home to video game giants such as Namco Bandai, Japanese gaming revenue topped $12.5 billion in 2017. Using the country’s obvious love of video games, Bull used the traditional wood printing techniques to bring famous characters to life. Pokémon favourites such as Pikachu and Squirtle were complemented by Link from The Legend of Zelda to give art lovers a glimpse into the beauty of games.
Art is always a reflection of life, whatever that might mean. For some, the beauty of technology is something that not only makes video visually appealing but worthy of a platform beyond a computer screen. Even though art inspired by video games might not be the most traditional pairing, it’s one that’s proving to be highly interesting. Moreover, it’s proof, once again, that art can be found in the most unlikely places.