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Gaming Projects: Photography

The spaces and places that video games create are often designed with a particular interaction or way to progress through them. However, because games are open to the player, how you play, the direction you move and what you do in the game is up to you.

This means that you can often put video games to unusual uses. Photography is one aspect of this as Paul Buttle recently highlight on Twitter. All modern video game consoles enable you to capture an image of the screen. At a rudimentary level this allows you to take pictures of your adventures. Beyond this, many games offer a Photo mode that allows you to freeze the action and take control of the camera -- even letting you control effects, depth of field and shutter speed in some cases.

This means you can take really beautiful and engaging pictures in the games you play. Some families have tasked their expert players with capturing a certain type of photograph as they play:

  • Portraiture - capture images of the people you meet.
  • Photojournalism - create a photo diary of the events of the game to be annotated later.
  • Fashion - document the different outfits and wardrobe styles your character chooses.
  • Sports - capture sporting moments, including not only players, but the crowd and coaches.
  • Still Life - capture the inanimate, mundane and overlooked elements that make the game world what it is.
  • Architectural - find ways to photograph the buildings in various states of build, decay and renewal.

Some examples of these projects include:

This list includes 47 games from the last 25 years, with 1,877 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to practice photography.


 

Nuts

Release Date: 20/01/2021

Platforms: PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Nuts is an adventure game where you play a rookie field researcher. You use your camera, caravan, GPS and map to investigate the depths of the enigmatic Melmoth Forest. As you study the local squirrel population you uncover a strange mystery.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fighting-adventure game set five years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 14 years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Young Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is hunted through the galaxy by the...

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: 14/05/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and her little brother Hugo as they use stealth to escape soldiers and swarms of rats. Against the stark threat and darkness of the world, the sibling relationship develops as the two learn to trust one another....

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon turns into a...

Super Mario Odyssey

Release Date: 27/10/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Mario has stared in running and jumping Super Mario games on Nintendo hardware since the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80's. The formula remains unchanged. Explore a level, jump on enemies, collect coins and get to the flag at the end to inch...

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release Date: 21/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

The Last Guardian

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Release Date: 23/08/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure game where you Chloe Frazer and your counterpart Nadine Ross seek the Tusk of Ganesh. Set in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India in the midst of a civil war, it's the first Uncharted game not to...

The Last Of Us Left Behind

Release Date: 14/02/2014

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

The Last of Us is a survival adventure game where you play Joel, a father figure, looking to protect a girl in his care, Ellie. The game creates a fimlic and emotional experience that extends beyond the usual zombie shooting to offer an interactive...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Release Date: 19/11/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is an action-adventure game set several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. You play Nathan Drake, a happily married former treasure hunter coaxed out of retirement by his brother. This leads into...

The Last Of Us Part II

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Marvel's Spider-Man (Series)

Release Date: 07/09/2018

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Marvel's Spider-Man is a series of superhero adventures where you swing through an open-world city fighting crime and advancing a film-like story. There are also many side quests and missions you can take along the way.

Gran Turismo (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or super cars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

Umurangi Generation

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Umurangi Generation is an adventure you play by exploring a city and taking photographs. Unlike other games where the photography is secondary, this is the main way you progress. As you do, you discover a story about ecology, friendship and the...

Control

Release Date: 28/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

This game is an outlandish paranormal fantasy where you are swept into a role as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control agency of the ‘paranatural’. With impressive cinematic visuals and storytelling, your interactions involve exploring,...

Ghost of Tsushima

Release Date: 17/07/2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Ghost of Tsushima is a stealth and action adventure set in 13th century Japan, where you play as a clan leader and samurai warrior trying to protect your people and the Tsushima Island against Mongol invaders.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Firewatch

Release Date: 20/09/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Season: A Letter to the Future

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon,...

No Man's Sky

Release Date: 10/08/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

No Man's Sky is a space simulation about exploring endless planets and galaxies. It invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a...

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game. The latest in the series, Rift Apart focuses on jumping between parallel worlds.

The Last Of Us

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

Dordogne

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

God of War

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

You play super-strong Norse fantasy hero Kratos as he takes his son Atreus on a brutal quest in the wake of his mother’s death. The exploration, puzzle solving, climbing and fighting gameplay intertwines with a mythological family drama played out in...

Journey to the Savage Planet

Release Date: 28/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Journey to the Savage Planet is an adventure-shooting game played from a first-person perspective. You explore a planet to catalogue various alien flora and fauna and collect the resources you need to craft items and upgrades like jetpacks and grappling...

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Series)

Release Date: 18/05/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Red Dead Redemption is a series of open world adventures with a wild west theme. The rich world offers many things to do along with a main story line. It's this living breathing world that attracts players, both in its diversity and beauty.

Beyond Blue

Release Date: 22/04/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Beyond Blue is an underwater exploration game where you play Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. You see, hear, and interact with the ocean and the creatures in it as you discover an untouched world.

Tomb Raider (Series)

Release Date: 09/11/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: GameCube, Mac, PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Tomb Raider is a longstanding series that has been rebooted in recent years. This means it not only gets a fresh coat of paint like a re-release but is built from the ground up. All the games feature Lara Croft as the titular hero. She shoots, runs,...

Eastshade

Release Date: 14/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...

New Pokemon Snap

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

New Pokemon Snap is the latest in the series of Pokemon Snap games. It's a puzzle safari where you are guided through the natural world of Pokemon creatures to take pictures of them in the wild. The aim is to time your photos to capture them in specific...

Forza Motorsport 7 (Series)

Release Date: 03/10/2017

Platforms: PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Motorsport 7 immerses players in the exhilarating thrill of competitive racing. From mastering the new motorsport-inspired campaign to collecting a wide range of cars to experiencing the excitement of driving at the limit, this is Forza reimagined.

Forza Horizon 4 (Series)

Release Date: 25/09/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Horizon 4 is a thrilling racing game where you race all manner of vehicles across a wide range of landscapes. This fourth iteration is set in the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh’s narrow streets, the Lake District’s hills and rainfall and the...

The Good Life

Release Date: 15/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

The Good Life is a narrative adventure, where you experience a slower pace of life in an English town. Although, before long you are drawn into an intriguing web of murder, bodily transformations into cats and dogs and photographic tasks. It's an...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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