Video games, at least in some instances, have long since surpassed the level of mere entertainment and have managed to make their way deep into artistic territory. Of course, not all video games are art, just like how all scribbles aren’t, but some have reached a high enough level that they can easily compete with other types of artworks.
Now, the game about which I’m about to talk is not an artwork. At least not yet, as it hasn’t yet been launched. By it does have almost all the potential to make a great work of art. So let’s dig right in and talk about how No Man’s Sky makes algorithms artistic and how the game will most likely fare one it comes out.
But those that don’t know anything about the game might not understand my later points, so let me get into just a little bit of backstory. Ok, so No Man’s Sky is probably one of the most anticipated games of the decade. Its’ going to be a gargantuan exploration game, in which you explore a vast array of planets.
Oh, and I’m not using the word ‘gargantuan’ lightly, as the game is said to have some eighteen quintillion planets, most of them procedurally generated and populated. This means that you will be able to visit and interact with the inhabitants of some fifteen quintillion planets in a universe that is mostly randomly generated.
And if you’re wondering why I said ‘mostly’, this is where the artistic part comes in. After all, art is about transmitting an emotion. It’s about awakening something in you, about making you aware of a feeling that you didn’t know could be stirred right then and there. And this is exactly what No Man’s Sky wants to do.
First of all, each planet will be mostly randomly generated, but under a specific set of guidelines. For example, the colors of grass and the leaves on each planet will always be complementary. This, along with a few other algorithms, is designed so that every planet is aesthetically pleasing.
But that’s not where the art ends. As you progress through the planets, interacting with aliens and the entire environment, you will make allies and foes, depending on how you decide to act. But even more exciting is the fact that as you approach the center of the universe, the creatures, planets, and encounters will get increasingly more disturbing, yet still aesthetically pleasing.
So you’re not only playing through a game meant to awaken emotions in you, but you’re playing through a game confident that it will awaken the exact emotions it wants from its players. And if that’s not art, I really don’t know what is.
Image source: YouTube