Video game photography is arguably enjoying a golden age. In recent years, the photo mode has exploded into blockbuster titles such as Spider-Man, offering intricate tools to pause the action, compose a shot, and tweak the finished result. You’ll find the results peppered throughout social media feeds thanks to the Share button found on modern controllers. Often these depict “cool” moments, sometimes even absurd glitches, but mostly such photos, like those of popular snapper and EA DICE screenshot artist Petri Levälaht, are concerned with the beauty of big-budget video games. With each like, retweet, and share, we collectively revel in the technical artistry of worlds now so visually detailed they appear to rival our own, enthralled by the sheer density and arrangement of their pixels.
If the DNA of this modern iteration of virtual photography can be traced back to video game marketing departments keen to promote their