Video Game Skies

Growl (Runark), Genesis, 1990

This blog of skies from video games is really soothing. There’s something about the simplicity and lack of detail that makes me nostalgic. Takaaki Ichijo manages to nail this feeling in Amr Al-Aaser’s article about lofi gaming: “The appeal is that it leaves room for the imagination of players. And for people of a specific age, it’s a time machine to take you back to feeling young for a moment.”

Later on, in the same article, video game developer, David Szymanski likens low fidelity visuals to impressionist paintings, saying: “They give a rough idea of a thing rather than outright portraying it, and I think that can ultimately be more immersive.” It’s this expressive quality that I like. Pixels can obscure details which adds to the atmosphere and makes things feel mysterious. Szymanski also notes that it is important for the viewer’s imagination to fill in the gaps. “I think that the idea of a thing in your head is more vivid than the thing sitting in front of you.  So showing the player a forest is cool, but giving them the idea of a forest is, I’d argue, even better.”

I couldn’t agree more. Personally, I find the push for high definition everything frustrating and limiting. Oftentimes it’s the games made by small teams, with limited resources, that are the most creative and therefore, the most interesting.

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