The difference between the online and the offline start disappearing. We live in a digital world and technology is increasingly getting integrated into our behavior. With commercialization of natural user interfaces like Microsoft’s Kinect and Leap Motion or advanced virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift, the blurring of the lines between the virtual and the real is even more rapid.
Games are playing a crucial role in this rapid digitization. People have always loved to play, but the complexity of current games, their production value and the level of interactivity advances so dramatically that they are becoming cultural artefacts of our time: World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto etc., have become references beyond the gaming community.
Grand Theft Auto V was released last month. It took five years to produce and it made $800 million just in the first 24 hours of sales. Fernando Pereira Gomes – art student, street photographer and gamer – noticed, when playing the game, that the personages carry mobile phones with a camera. The gamer can then upload the pictures to his game profile and download them to his computer. Gomes started taking “street photography–style” snapshots in the game and through the eyes of his character – and the result is amazing. It’s a virtual street photography, made through a virtual person, and yet it feels so real.
To quote Gomes: “What I found was remarkable. The game is so realistic that it felt like being on the streets outside, running around for shots, anticipating passersby’s movements and reactions. In a way, it was also incredibly frightening that these algorithms could look so real, or is it that we ourselves are becoming ever more algorithmic?”
Check out the pictures on his tumblr Street Photography V.