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If you have more than a passing interest in video games and in-game photography, chances are that you may have seen some buzz around the recent tweets of a certain Hideo Kojima over the last day or so, as the legendary game designer weighed in on why the latter is a form of art...

Should it come as any sort of surprise that a creative mind like that of Kojima would recognise virtual photography as genuine art? Is there any surprise that this should come to light in 2021? It almost goes without saying, but the answer to both is a resounding no, you should not be surprised!

Find beauty in every detail and become entwined in the time you spend there...

With the relentless growth that virtual photography and capture art have enjoyed in recent times, this year has already seen some huge developments in the space and Kojima's comments only add to that. While the more cynical might suggest that there could be an element of clever timing to stir up interest in the impending release of the photo mode equipped Death Stranding Director's Cut, rest assured that anyone with his level of artistic vision is well aware of the bigger picture. After all, Death Stranding itself was famously revealed along with the words of poet William Blake; words that can easily be used to describe the very essence of virtual photography.


What Was Said?

With a single tweet on his Japanese language account Hideo Kojima started the conversation about whether in-game photography was now a new art after apparently noticing the rising number of people getting involved in it. As you might expect, this was met with plenty of supportive replies from photographers sharing their own favourite shots and giving reasons why they love the pastime, but it was by the time that the same message was translated and shared via Kojima's English language account, that the response really kicked in, even drawing support from other key members of the industry.

Perhaps even more significantly, this original thought was followed up a few minutes later with a short thread from Kojima-san, debunking any reason to undermine the merit of photographing the virtual worlds of video games, and pointing out some of the key talents and skills that are involved...

"There are still some people who make fun of the fact that you are taking virtual pictures in the game. If you keep taking pictures, even in-game, your sensitivity and skills will naturally improve. Composition, layout, focus, etc."
"Most importantly, you will know what you want to photograph. After that, the in-game experience will surely come in handy when you shoot with a real camera or smartphone."


He is quite right of course. Even digital cameras were once derided by traditional film photographers for not being “true” photography – we can all see how that turned out – and while virtual photography is not here to replace real-world photography, it does compliment it perfectly with convenient ways to experiment with compositional techniques or to capture extraordinary scenes that would never feasibly exist in the real world.


Anyway, you don't need me, or anyone else to validate this art form and we will certainly see even more people developing an interest in both real and virtual photography with a common desire to capture visually compelling images. So get out there with those camera, real or virtual, and keep on keeping on!



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