The year was 1992. My dad purchased the first-ever 3D horror survival game for the computer: Alone in the Dark. I remember sitting perched in the den’s chair at night with all the lights on and the curtains firmly pulled shut because I was so scared by the vivid graphics of zombies popping out of the shadows.
Based on the winning images of this year’s Into the Pixel competition- judged partially by museum representatives- it seems that video game art has come a long way from the polygonal design and obvious pixelation of my youth. Sixteen winning artists created their vastly different works on Adobe Illustrator, Painter 9, and Photoshop. The winning image pictured above is Chinese Bar by Stephane Belin from the game Army of Two: The 40th Day; the haunting aura is palpable– you can just sense that someone, somewhere is going to pull a gun and create chaos. The geometric juxtapositions are eye-catching and the background depth creates intrigue and mystery.
Joseph Olin, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, stated: “Into the Pixel is strong evidence that video games are an integral part of today’s contemporary art scene.” Scene? I don’t know about that. But it is undeniable that video games inspire incredible imagery that continues getting cooler as creative software advances.
All of the winning images are currently on display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles that runs through June 4th, or check out Into the Pixel’s website here.