Video games. A means of entertainment thanks to which the users can utterly immerse themselves. Here the user can feel emotions and be amazed. So, if art is any work capable of conveying emotions, can videogames be considered works of art?
To answer this question we must admit that art and video games manage to intermingle perfectly. The most attentive users are able to spot important elements of the artistic world within the virtual space.
How can this phenomenon be explained?
Technological progress together with an increasingly more refined videogame culture has allowed over time the development of video games that pay more attention to aesthetics, and are often inspired by the works of famous artists.
Escher’s impossible architectures, Dalì’s melted clocks and Magritte’s huge apples are the artistic references visible in the Back To Bed video game. Goal of the video game? Accompany sleepwalker Bob safely back to his bed, preventing him from falling into ravines or tumbling into the void along the way.
Another artistic reference can be found on the cover of the dynamic adventure video game Ico. Shadows, lights, statues and wide spaces: this is the pictorial current of metaphysics. Giorgio De Chirico’s works are particularly suggestive and perfectly represent the basic features of metaphysics. Long and disproportionate shadows of motionless objects are projected on the ground of desolated squares, silhouettes of individuals walk along empty streets in the midst of buildings hit by the dazzling sunlight.
The video game design is precisely inspired by the 1913 painting The Nostalgia of Infinite.
Both in art and video games, logic does not exist. Third and last artistic reference in the video game is the style of the Dutch painter Mauris Cornelis Escher. The design in black and white of the flights of stairs that intersect in every direction and from every perspective can be found in The Bridge, a video game in which the main character moves in space thanks to the possibility of “turning” the ambience by 360° in order to drop objects, adjust perspective, dodge hurdles and reach doors to open.
These are unique experiences in which the gamer deeply delves. The colors, lines and environment of art blend with the design of interactive reality creating a new storytelling.
We no longer look at the video game as a medium distant from the exclusive world of the arts. We must remember that it is exactly the previous arts like painting and music that give inspiration and shape to today’s digital gaming.