Marco De Mutiis is a curator, media artist and researcher. His current interest lies in the exploration of new forms of photographic practices beyond the camera, mutations and remediations of photography, and new approaches to the way images are created and distributed. From Here On. Is there really a bug somewhere in the program of photography?
Is its phantom stuck in an infinite loop? As I take the PlayStation controller in my hands, I see the ghost.
I see the specter of the photographic dispositif flickering on my monitor pixels — the buttons and levers of the camera apparatus have vanished, only to reappear as an on-screen interface and on the game controller. Next I am zooming in on a simulated African elephant through a simulated viewfinder, attempting to take a good shot, hoping my client will be satisfied. Afrika is one of many game titles that simulate a camera interface and the act of photographic capture as their core game mechanics.
It also attempts to gamify the formal qualities of my photographs, attributing points to the efforts of my in-game photo shooting. You used lots of film. You got ased Photo!
You pass! Good job!
I can double the score for you! Others have pointed out how such quantification of representations in games through the standardization of what is to be considered a good photograph promotes an oversimplified and unproblematic concept of photography 2. These are valid points and important reflections in a media landscape where games can influence the role of photography, but what about the ways photographic ideas affect games, and what happens when the boundaries between the two become blurry?
Adopted by a large of players and artists, this term is a broad label that contains screenshot-ing practices within games, photo-mode functions, and photography simulations as well as modifications of game engines 4. A quick tour of online forums and sharing platforms also reveals the different interests and specific rules of in-game photography communities.
Flickr abounds with groups like Landscape Photographers of In Game Worlds, a place where amateur in-game photographers share their images and comment. No crotch shots. No dead animals.
No shootings or killings. They can be rural or urban. Finally artists and photographers have started looking at this universe where photography and games appear to merge in unexpected ways, highlighting its ambiguity and exploring its new properties.
Kent Sheely 12 modifies the game engine of DoD Valve Corporation, to turn a First Person Shooter into a First Person War Photographer simulation and Claire Hentschker 13 uses image-averaging algorithms to create romantic and sublime images out of appropriated gameplay videos from YouTube. As the photograph merges with computationally created images, as photographers turn into players, and as cameras dissolve into PrintScreen buttons and simulated interfaces in-game, I wonder where the photographic ghost will take us next.
Drifting through different bodies and ideas, optical and algorithmic, geometrical and computational, static and moving? Photography remains always uncatchable and unrestrainable, and forever playing games. Yote Games.
First Person Scholar. April New York: Bloomsbury Academic. DeadEndThrills is a professional screenshot artist working for game studios to create images used in advertisement and promotional materials. I don't like to change the colors in Photoshop. That's what SweetFX is for.
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I want to capture the game like I see it ingame. Photoshoping a game screenshot is also frowned upon in our little screenshot community. If a character's finger is clipping through something, for instance, then I'd probably fix that. Otherwise the shots are exactly as they're grabbed. Follow updates Stay updated.