First Person Shooter: Photographing The Gaming World

<p>Robert Overweg is a photographer in the virtual world of gaming, taking glitchy, spooky images of the streets and scenery of <i>Half-Life</i>, <i>Left 4 Dead</i>, and <i>Mafia 2</i>.</p>

The digital backdrops and cityscapes of video games are places familiar to gamers, places where battles are fought and virtual lives are made, or lost. It is within these glitch-prone pixelated terrains that Robert Overweg roams. Calling them the “new public space of contemporary society,” Overweg takes photographs of the landscape, capturing the empty attraction and artificial fragility of these virtual spaces.

His latest body of work, Broken Water, is a series of shots of blurry, glitchy water from Call Of Duty: Black ops. Other series, like Flying and Floating in the slideshow above and The End of the Virtual World (below), take in the glitch art theme of celebrating error in the virtual worlds—these dead ends, flat buildings and floating staircases are a frequent experience for the wandering gamer, and Robert Overweg uses them to make the gaming environment seem peculiar and abstract.

The images he captures are eerie and uncanny, familiar but strange at the same time. The hectic engagement that usually accompanies these first and third person action-adventure games becomes calm and serene, but still exudes a sense of drama. Check out the full collection here.