Facing Worlds 'map' in full

2009: Facing Worlds

This series is a window on two worlds, that of the real and virtual. However its also a vehicle for nostalgia, both for the distant past [that I had nothing to do with] and the recent past which is very much my own. The games referenced are from this time - when I played a lot of games - and I single them out for the vivid and lively character of their environments.
When I visited the Alexandra and Kangaroo batteries for the first time, I was struck by their similarity to many computer game environments I'd visited:
The strange isolation, the sense of emptiness, and at the same time the suggestion of occupation by a team of energetic individuals at some time, devoted fiercely to countering their enemies.
Exploring the architectural features [ramps, tunnels, arenas, walkways and rustic stone walls] and thinking about the opposed nature of the Batteries immediately [at first subconciously] led me to combine the two environments into a composite reality, an imaginary place.

-> Game environments have histories too. They carry on and through in different versions, are modified and reworked by many different people, and remain memorable to many of those who visit them.
-> I feel it is sad that these environments are not recognised as great achievements in their own right. Althrough true of most 'art assets' [things you can sense] in games in general, the maps in Unreal Tournament 2004 stand out as living worlds, beyond the functional or cliche thematics of other games.
-> Stopping and Looking: I have come to this point a number of times when writing about my photography ideas. Though many of these games are getting a bit old and, especially in UT2004's case, not many play them online anymore, there's real inspiration to be found by simply stopping and looking at these locations. In quake however you should probably do your looking on the run.

RED = = = BLUE

main bases, with strong colour-coded pickups and banners from Quake Live.

counter-strike informed these hallways with its contested zones of not-so-safe passage, with subtle colour and symbols of a neutral area.

each base ultimately protects the teams irresistibly valuable flags from capture and subjugation. UT2004 has the best flag rooms, carefully lit as imposing inner sanctums, deepest enemy territory.