Computer Games in Art History. Traditional architecture and painting presented in virtual reality




Aim. The aim of the research is to show the applications of art reception in computer games. Moreover  it is important  to show  the game as a visual object worth to analysis for art historian, because of complex structure and relations with traditional artistic media like architecture and painting. Many disciplines, like ludology, narratology and culture study research computer games, but we can see a  large lack in the  state of research in visual aspects of games, which should be supplemented.

 Methods. The subject of study are five games belonging to different game genres. The first, Assasin’s Creed II is set in a  historical context, the next Witcher III and Dark Souls embedded in the realities of fantasy and finally, two games  in an  independent games category. The basic method is iconographic identification of  the object and comparative difference and similarity between original source of inspiration and transposition of  this in computer media. Therefore basic tools gained from history of art are used, which are necessary for visual analysis of a  piece of art. Also important is notion of  a commonplace forming a frame for images from different media.

 Results. Indicated examples show that classic art has a strong influence on numerous computer games. The citations and allusions from art brings an additional narration completing the story in the game. Objects of architecture or paintings  also give  symbolic meanings, influencing the interpretation of the whole game. Game developers oscillate between education in the history of art and the use of these references to create your own world.

 Conclusion. The examples presented in the article are only part of the rich area of art inspirations that can be found in many games. This should become a contribution to further research, not only taking into account the indicated types of references, but also the visuality of the games themselves The visual complexity of the games would require separate, more extensive research that would bring a lot into the perception of games and researching them


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Author Biography

Michał Szymański, Faculty History of Art, Institute of Art History, University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, Al. Niepodległości 4, Poznań, Poland

Michał Szymański. Art historian, PhD student at the Institute of Art History at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He is preparing a dissertation focused on attempt to create an integrated model of computer games analysis as a comprehensive work, taking into account the visual layer, game mechanics and narrative. Author of articles about the reception of earlier works in contemporary art area, reviews of exhibitions and visual aspects of digital games, their connections with traditional artistic media and the general problems of research on games. In addition, he promoted knowledge of the history of art and culture of computer games, appearing several times on the air of Radio Poznań.




How to Cite

Szymański, M. (2019). Computer Games in Art History. Traditional architecture and painting presented in virtual reality. E-Methodology, 5(5), 84–99.



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