The first is Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778), who wished to reinvigorate Rome through monumental reimaginings of its ancient structures.
Despite any of their propagandistic aims, the plates are calls for imaginative exploration (how can anyone glance at the plate above and not want to climb around that stonework?
), and I find it impossible to believe that this imaginative appeal -- of the actual architecture and the etchings' two-dimensional universes -- did not form a part of the foundation for Piranesi's enthusiasm.
It seems to me that there is a popular pattern to the design of videogames where the core inspirational stimuli are pre-existing videogames, rather than that in addition to works in other artistic fields.
One may be led to believe that I am asking for nothing more than citation of "great works" in a quest for the legitimization of videogames. Videogames are already legitimized simply by their pervasiveness, and there is much more that can be done with our shared artistic legacy than reinforcing that it exists (yet reinforcement have value, especially when it deals in art that has been institutionally maligned or ignored).
Piranesi was in conversational and creative contact with these people, and was soon to assert himself on his own terms.
In 1743, Piranesi published his first suite of etchings, the , the first version of his well-known, theatrical prison designs.This legacy that lies outside of videogames is not vast only in terms of quantity and media; it is also vast in the ways by which it can be interpreted and elaborated on.If videogames do have any noticeable involvement with the interpretation of other media, it is overwhelmingly through tie-ins to television programs and movies that are often little more than advertorial limbs added to the brands' bodies, carrying the unsavory label of "shovelware." These tie-ins are dependent upon the action-orientation of the source material to perpetuate videogames' habit of structuring themselves as gauntlets wherein the player kills an untold number of opponents along a path, or as collectathons where players run through spaces wallpapered by sights from the show/movie and peppered by themed amulets; and if the source material does not quite lend itself to this structure, it is made to fit (e.g., for the Sega Genesis, etc.).Along the lines of my question posed about the camera, Piranesi's less pragmatic and more original compositions cause me to wonder if he would have seen videogames as a space to explore his ideas.It was common practice in his time to place detailed, gesticulating figures within built or natural environments to better convey scale, and there is no reason to think that Piranesi did not use this trope partly with the same intent; but his figures may also be there as a second-hand way for him to have with the drawn environments.Over the years, I’ve increasingly come to see videogames as fantasies of environment.Perhaps more generally and accurately, videogames are conveyors of potential and kinetic energy, and this is best realized through space; and so they are spatial fantasies. For example, text-based games are more resistant to such a classification, because the description of space is, as in the case of unillustrated literature, purely a responsibility of the player's imagination.None of this is to say that these kinds of games cannot be entertaining -- there is some appeal to a technically well crafted game with pop-imagery; Konami's early 90s tie-in beat-'em-ups, for example, are admired by many players -- but it is to say that videogames' interpretive contributions mainly are profit-driven emboldenings of contemporary, moving-picture media.Putting the claim of videogames as spatial fantasies and that of the low amount and diversity of games that respond to pre-existing material together, I would like to present two artists whom I believe developers should know about.For several years at one point, Piranesi excavated and measured ruins, and used his imagination for what he could not inspect himself.In 1756 he began to issue the (plates strangely and inventively depicting fireplaces with Egyptian and Tuscan ornamentation).