If you’re ever looking for some ammunition in the (admittedly tired) ongoing discussion about whether or not games can be counted as art, I’d suggest you load your gun with a number of bullets from Dead End Thrills. What is Dead End Thrills? Basically, it’s a site devoted almost completely to the idea of video game photography – applying real-world photography techniques to showcase the artistic nature of video games. It’s not just as simple as that, though.
Applying the principles of real world photography to the virtual worlds of games is just part of the solution. Hacking and tweaking games to remove player model, HUD and restrictions on the camera are others. The toughest, though, is rendering games from throughout the 3D era, from Deus Ex to Crysis 2, at truly uncompromising quality. There is a massive difference between running a game with top-of-the-line antialiasing and quality settings, and running it with those same settings at resolutions far in excess today’s norms, using offline resampling to achieve perfect results. Only recently, and after extensive research, have such methods become possible.
Technical stuff aside, the dude makes some pretty sweet pictures, including great desktops from Skyrim, Portal 2, Alice: The Madness Returns, Modern Warfare 2 and even an iPod/iPad collection. I highly recommend checking out his work and upgrading your desktop collection.
A little game for the comments: link your favorites. Go!