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Immersion in video games: The canvas & the stage

  Bastion (1).jpg

“Video games use images, actions and player participation to tell stories and engage their audiences. In the same way as film, animation and performance, they can be considered a compelling and influential form of narrative art.” Smithsonian American Art Museum

I am a great lover of art, be it the fine or performing arts. Games provide a sketchbook and a stage like no other, where all art forms can be displayed within a single experience.

I remember when I played Bastion, the art and music captivated me. I would just sit and stare at my screen, marveling at the sheer beauty of the imagery while listening to the most enchanting music. I can write essays about the art that goes into gaming and the depth of experience it provides. It has the ability to touch us deeply because it is able to capture and express what we sometimes are unable to. Art is the universal language of the heart, when we look into its soul it takes us on journeys that touch us deeply. It communicates the unspoken: the deep desires and despairs. Through the lens of gaming the journey broadens, because the canvas is so multidimensional.

To the Moon is another game that had a profound impact on me. The music in the game felt like the interpreter of the whole story, rather than a background feature. In my review of the game, I describe the  tremendous force the music carried:

“Let me try to explain what I felt as I listened. There's a place deep inside me that rarely gets touched, moved. Too much of life is filled with the ordinary and mundane, we are surrounded by it, we choke on it. The moment I heard those first few simple notes I was swept to that place. The music has the ability to make the world stop for that brief moment when you listen to it. The soundtrack is all inclusive, all immersive and utterly captivating. It demands all of your attention, it gently compels you to feel, to share at that moment in the game the feelings that the characters go through... it is truly magical.”

Personally, beautiful artwork and music in a game can captivate me like no other element, because it appeals to my sense of beauty and wonder.

Tell us about the games you’ve played where the art and music captured your attention.

Han’s Twitter | Blog / MWEB Gamezone Twitter | Facebook

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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