The magical essence of natural landscapes since the dawn of man have been a source of intrigue, wonder and inspiration in art, philosophy and literature. With each new era in civilisation, new methods of creative expression have been used by artists, designers and writers to capture the rich natural landscapes, and with the 21st century and the emergence of new interactive technologies, this innate desire is being expressed through the digital domain.
From the giant mushroom forests of Morrowind, the Archipelago islands of Zelda: Wind Waker, to the tropical underground caves of Phantasy Star Online, Virtual landscapes have enthralled, captured and engaged player imaginations for over 30 years. Virtual Landscapes is a three part series attempting to, for the first time, visually illustrate, share and critically reflect upon the unique, virtual natural landscapes within Computer & Video Games.
Virtual Landscapes: The Embryonic Era visually illustrates the emergence and rapid evolution of the virtual natural landscapes in computer & video games from 1980 to 1989. From the pixel based, block form environments of Forbidden Forest, the strange lands of Golvellius, the eerie 'ant-farm' landscapes of Ghouls'n Ghosts and finally to shifting interactive lands of Populous.
Virtual Landscapes: The Transition Era visually illustrates the period from 1990 to 1999 that marked the decline of 2D natural landscapes from the 'Embryonic Era' and by the emergence of true 3D technologies which would radically shape virtual landscapes in the years to come. From the intricate, picturesque landscapes of Kings Quest 5, the isometric forests of Landstalker, through to the beautiful mysterious lands of Kyrandia, and finally the magical forests of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Virtual Landscapes: The Modern Era visually illustrates the revolution in complexity and richness of virtual natural landscapes that occurred in computer & video games from 2000 to modern day. From the tranquil landscapes of Morrowind, the rolling forested autumn hills of Oblivion, the eerie landscapes of The Witcher, through to the beautiful deep crimson Maple forests of Phantasy Star Universe, the vast epic landscapes of Skyrim, and finally to the lonely landscapes of Dear Esther,
The Virtual Landscapes series presents these virtual spaces for the first time, in stunning unseen digitally enhanced. high resolution and panoramic forms.