The Art of Gaming

Video games…gaming…gamers. Not words that usually enter my everyday conversations. They conjure up thoughts of geeky boys playing World of War Craft, hunched over a computer screen in a darkened room for days, even weeks on end. Recently however, in my new role at BAFTA, I have come to appreciate that there is in fact, a genuine art form and skill that goes into their creation.

Whilst BAFTA is best known for their Film awards, the Academy supports all art forms of the moving image which includes film, television and video games. This Friday evening the highest achievers in the world of game creation will be recognised for their mastery at the BAFTA Video Game Awards. With the category of Artistic Achievement proving to be one of the most coveted prizes, it is clear that stunning design is at the core of a video game’s success.

A great example of stunning VG imagery is the 1994 classic game ‘Beneath a Steel Sky’ (pictured above). Comic book artist Dave Gibbons hand drew the background for the game as well as creating intricate character designs. Gibbons was the original illustrator of Watchmen, a highly acclaimed, twelve-issue comic book series published during 1986 and 1987. According to Gibbons, who admits to not being much of a ‘gamer’, his background in comic book illustration was perfect for the artistic inspiration of Beneath a Steel Sky. In an interview with BAFTA, Gibbons tells how his relationship with Charles Cecil (his collaborator on the game) developed…

He’d seen what I’d done with building worlds and characters in Watchmen and thought that skill was transferable to the kind of computer games that he was interested in.” Dave Gibbons. Read the full BAFTA article here.

SO, for all you art fanatics out there, if I’ve managed to convince you of the artistic integrity that lies of the core of video game creation, you can keep an eye on the BAFTA  Awards by watching a live stream of the event at online at BAFTA.org

Nominees in the Artistic Achievement category are as follows:

Assassin’s Creed II

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Flower

Streetfighter IV

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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