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As the storm rages inward and your team forges ahead, there are few greater feelings than performing as a single unit in order to achieve victory. Fortnite, the highly popular third-person shooter videogame, has revitalized friendly competition and fraternal cooperation in a world otherwise defined by differences and confrontation. At first glance the objective is simple: Fight other players to remain the last individual or team alive, and achieve that coveted ‘Victory Royale.’ To bring the...

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OpinionAesthetics of video games

February 7, 20182292 min

Last week I wrote about the role of choice in videogames as a storytelling medium. This week I’m going to address videogames as a visual art. For the last two decades, a large focus for major games has been photorealism — making games look as indistinguishable from reality as possible. Game developers have had great success in this endeavor, particularly as technology has improved. Human models that once had six triangles for a head now sit...

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One of the great values of art, film, photography and literature is that they are our only means, outside of direct experience, of grasping and confronting the reality of war, history and ideology. Videogames are often thought to lack this property by a public for whom “videogame” conjures images of Mario or machine gun fire. This is understandable, but mistaken — and I like Mario and shooters. In the hands of skilled and serious developers, videogames...