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Painting in games

You rush headlong through the corridors with a shotgun at the ready – and do not pay attention that the blood of defeated enemies splashes on the reproduction of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. Oil, watercolor or pastels, frozen faces of long-dead statesmen, a set of random objects or an indescribably sad landscape – all this is not for you, not for you, not for you …

But there is a special group of players who can watch the pictures hung on the walls of virtual houses in virtual worlds for hours. The participants of the huge Paintings in Video Games thread on the NeoGAF forums (www.neogaf.com) are decorated with countless pages, and on the Giant Bomb website (www.giantbomb.com) painting samples were found in 131 games (the first of which is the Japanese protowest The Portopia Serial Murder Case 1983 release).

Pictures on the walls of a gloomy (extremely rarely – fun) corridor can set the atmosphere, reveal plot details, hint at secret moves or even actively participate in the gameplay. We do not set ourselves the task of covering all the ways of using the visual arts in computer games, but we want to dwell on the brightest and most interesting examples. Before the invention of photography and film pictures were the only visual source of information about the life of past eras – and still remain the most concise delivery method plot information.

In the story “Ridges of Madness” by Howard Lovecraft, the bas-reliefs discovered in the ruins of the city of Startsev reveal to the heroes the secret history of the Universe – and create a feeling of an inexplicable cosmic horror that no chronicles, diaries, or recordings could record.

• A seemingly innocent portrait of Cave Johnson in Portal 2 conceals more plot information than any of Dag Ratman’s drawings in his secret shelters.
Portal 2 portraits of Cave Johnson in abandoned laboratories in a similar way make us seriously think about the history of Aperture Science. Well, in the seventh chapter hidden in the canvas “Cave Johnson and his secretary Caroline” encoded more secret meanings than in the “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.

Judge for yourself: a careless comment from GLaDOS makes it clear that in reality we are not looking at the secretary, but at the real prototype of our beloved AI with a female voice … but you can see family resemblance to Chell in facial features of Caroline.

Moreover, in the background one can discern a figure sneaking up on the background of bookshelves … this is the character who escaped from the film “Audience in Athens during the“ Agamemnon ”Aeschylus” by English artist William Blake Richmond. Aeschyl himself is the author of the tragedy “Chained Prometheus”, which tells about the dangers of excessive thirst for knowledge of humanity.

Other video game pictures are not so deep – but they put pressure on the player’s subconscious. At first glance, the famous work “Foggy Morning after the Court” in the Museum of the Historical Society of Silent Hill 2 depicts the good old Pyramid Head with a spear in his hand and against the background of victims in cages.

But when re-passing, it becomes clear that this canvas – a layer of remorse of conscience who killed the wife of James Sunderland on the image of the executioner in a red hood with a different picture, hanging in the same gallery.

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