TIM KAUGER
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Welcome to my pedestal. 

"52" - Week 8 - Grand Theft Auto 5

Sunrise over the "Alamo Sea" (Salton Sea)

Sunrise over the "Alamo Sea" (Salton Sea)

I'll never divulge how many hours I've sunk into playing Rockstar Games' seminal video game, Grand Theft Auto V. It'd be too embarrassing. I admit, there are a few positive takeaways; for one, it's the most gorgeous video game environment ever, and it's easy to get lost by simply wandering around. It's a lampooning, tongue-in-cheek take of modern Los Angeles and the surrounding mountains and desert, but despite the obvious satire, it's utterly convincing as a living, breathing world. 

Luckily for me, there's an in-game camera!

I suppose this 52 Week entry isn't photography in the traditional sense, but "traditional" is something I wanted to escape from when first starting this year-long task. It's a testament to the game's design team that there are so many photo ops that pop up regularly in this alternate reality. There's portraits, landscapes, abstracts, architecture -- the list goes on and on. 

For those who want the technicalities, Rockstar allows you to upload your photos to their social network (aptly dubbed the "Social Club"). From there, I downloaded them and gave them a bit of retouching in Lightroom (aside from the ones that are already using the in-game, "Instagram-style" filters). My only wish is that Rockstar would release these in at least 720p resolution (would 1080p even be so much to ask?). Perhaps that's a request for their legal department.

Video game worlds have come a long way from the side-scrolling adventures of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, and I have a feeling that they're going to be exponentially better in the next few years. We're only at the beginning of the lifecycle for Xbox One and Playstation 4, and developers have nothing but time to optimize their software to work with the hardware. 

Maybe Grand Theft Auto 6 will be nearly indistinguishable from reality -- perhaps I'll repeat this same experiment six years from now!