Animation, graphics programming, 3D modelling and texturing are common terminology in conversation at SIGGRAPH. Art, as abstract and sometimes subjective as it can be, is seen in many forms and mediums at SIGGRAPH, and video games is no exception. Although many exhibitors have been part of SIGGRAPH for years, the games industries growth over the last year has made it one of the hottest topics and an interest of many attendees. Is the game industry entering a new era? Will games someday be seen as an artform and not just pasttime?
"I see games as the a new frontier on a daily basis" says Geoff Foulds, Global Marketing Manager of Games at Alias.. With huge growth in the game market large companies like Alias, Discreet, and many others have made big commitments to the industry. An area previously dominated by other artforms, the 3D content creation market now finds such companies with teams focused on game industry clients. Companies such as Elecronic Arts, Midway, and Activision are all some of the names that we saw on the exhibitors floor this year.
Somemight think that their is alot of pressure on game studios with this constant growth in this ever-changing form of media. "There's no pressure, it's just exciting!" said Eric Nofsinger, Vice President of Creative Content at High Voltage from Chicago. "The day is coming for the Tarantinos of gaming." When you consider the challenge of 40 or more hours of adaptive storytelling, approaching this artform in a very new way is necessary. Changes are taking place to make so much possible in the arena of the game industry. Some of the biggest hardware manufacturers are commited to and driven by the real-time rendering needs of gaming. This was a recurring theme in the exhibition hall and in some of the presentations.
Console gamers didn't give the machines a break on the exhibition floor.
- photo courtesy of Wade Ammon
Games in education were also a hot topic for the educational facilities present at SIGGRAPH. "When I'd call schools looking for talent, I've actually been hung up on." says Nofsinger of High Voltage Studios. The schools offering game programs, or game content creation classes are some of the most popular today. Many students are entering school with the intent of persuing a career in Film, but have changed to game content creation like Brent Elliott presently attending Gnomon School of Visual Arts. "It's exciting to focus on something you're so passionate about" says Elliott.
The Fine Arts, Music, Photography, and Film, art is an ever growing form that will take many forms. We are at an exciting point in art history right now. "We can learn from Film and they can learn from us" says Nofsinger of High Voltage. Games will continue to grow in depth and scope. With this growth will come the refinment that is common of our many artforms of the past.