Teaching Digital Art: Video Game Photo Modes

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (BAMC2022)
Title: Teaching Digital Art: Video Game Photo Modes
Stream: Visual Culture
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Amiee Shelton, Roger Williams University, United States
Łukasz Wojciechowski, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Slovakia


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the practical implementation of new tools for digital learning practices into classrooms. Once such tool that has potential to be integrated into the education processes comes in the form of digital video games. Mainstay and popular video games can have clear positive implications for the creative fields and of photography specifically. While The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has formally been recognizing digital games as artworks since 2011 by adding them to its grant scheme, the use of these games for- and specifically consumer games- has not been explored in the education literature. This paper explores photo modes of commercial digital games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac, 2020) and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Respawn, 2019), and demonstrates how the features such as focal length, aperture, exposure, and color grading allow photographers to use many of the same techniques and principles as in the real world while composing in-game images. Those photo modes provide artistic control and creative options alongside a whole catalogue of lenses, camera parameters, and other features, reducing the financial burden associated with the purchase of photographic equipment. Despite the limits for the overall implementation of digital game-based learning in photography classrooms, the potential is there to be used as a suitable tool for testing the knowledge and self-development in this field of education.

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