This is it. We’ve just got to the point where you can walk around in a virtual ‘open world’ environment snapping photos with your digitally rendered avatar’s camera phone in a fictional Southern Californian city called Los Santos. Yes. Even your virtual avatar has a camera-phone these days.
Savvy Brazilian street photographer Fernando Pereira Gomes has become ‘internet famous’ in an instant after he started publishing his shots about Los Santos and its everyday people. As he writes on his Tumblr page: ‘The game is so realistic that it felt like being in the streets outside, running around for shots, anticipating passerby’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?’
I don’t know about you but I have never seen such realistically rendered low-to-mid-income people going about their business in times of declining socioeconomic situation that marks the current ‘post empire’ era of the USA. Grand Theft Auto V already has a lot of vitriol and direct (anti-)social commentary as it is, but these images have a poetic substance in their subtle composition and harsh lighting.
Fernando mentions how he has freaked out a couple of times when the people on the streets were looking at him acknowledging the presence of the camera, just like when he did his street photography in the real world.
So this is the sort of world we live in now. Grand Theft Auto V just proved again how the gaming industry is replacing the movie industry and console games now have the budgets and profits the ‘dirty old’ movie industry is just dreaming about. $800 million turnover in the first 24 hours after release? This is serious business.
I have seen first hand how ALL game developers start working literally the day after getting their degree at Media Design School’s cutting edge gaming courses. This is currently the most lucrative field in digital design and programming. If you have what it takes, I would suggest you start studying game design and programming now.