Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso; these old dead guys have lead me to a better understanding of Videogames. These famous artists have reached me from beyond the grave, and taught me their secrets, in only the way an artist can- through their works. While painters have studied these great men for ages in order to grasp the nature of the canvas ever firmer, what can we, game enthusiasts and designers, learn from them? Videogames didnít even exist when they were around, what could those dusty fossils possibly have to teach us? Through keen observation, extrapolation, and simple guestimation, what can we learn? Well, letís take a look.
Letís Take a Look: Pixels as Impressionism
Borderlands manages to be gritty, yet playful due to it's visual aesthetic.
In the end, what have the Impressionists, painters in a many centuries old medium, have taught Videogames, a barely thirty year old medium? While the beginning of our medium mimicked the tropes of Impressionism, have we actually learned anything from them? Yes, I believe we have. Weíve learned how sets of criteria and rules applied to any art can create a distinct style, such as how limiting blending and brushstrokes gave Impressionism its signature look. Weíve learned that depending on your medium and the use of the style, aesthetics can alter the how audiences view our work, as Valkyria Chronicles emulates dreamy memories just as Impressionism did. Weíve learned that games, just as any art, should explore new ways to engage players from an artistic standpoint, explaining the great personality and humor that is evoked by Team Fortressís visual style. These are just a few ways in which Videogames can look to older mediums to grow. The power of observation can give us endless examples of older art forms that could be re-purposed to better engage our players, and this observation in its self teaches us one of the most important things; itís always possible, to take a closer look.
If you have anything you wish to contribute, personal observations, arguments, or other examples, feel free to contribute in the comments! Observation is always better in groups.
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