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The art of gaming, part II: E3 through a painter’s eyes

It’s hard to capture the experience of being at E3 in words. Video gaming’s own annual Lollapalooza aims to deliver a single message to a variety of parties, from gamers to retailers: Buy our stuff.

And to that end, the event is designed around spectacle. The most popular games go big, loud, and pretty, and their individual appearances at E3 are meant to capture that spirit in a way that can be writ large across a number of different mediums. Words alone don’t convey all of the sights and sounds of such an event. 

With that in mind, we’ve commissioned artist Joshua Mongeau to bring you a slightly different take on E3. Each day, we’ll be sharing pieces of original artwork that reflect in some way on the popular games and talking points of the show, as seen through the eyes of a creative-minded observer. For more beautiful eye candy, check out Part IPart III and Part IV of this week’s Art of Gaming series.

HUD, HUD, and More HUD

HUD, HUD, and More HUD © Joshua Mongeau

This first piece for today came to Josh in the wee morning hours, after a full day and night of working hard on all of the wonderful artwork you’re seeing today. He couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be to have a holographic OS hovering around him at all times, much like the heroes of so many shooter games.

Be the Villain

Be the Villain © Joshua Mongeau

Fable Legends and Battlefield: Hardline both tap into the gleeful escapism of stepping into the role of villain, and Be the Villain nods at that idea with vigorous approval. Whether it’s snatching loot or launching down traps and enemies like some vengeful eye in the sky, multiplayer games that pit human-controlled do-gooders against a moustache-twirling opposition only serve to up the competitive spirit of online play by encouraging gamers to embrace their dark side.

Infinitely Custom

Infinitely Custom © Joshua Mongeau

There’s no one game that inspired this piece. It’s got a distinctly Destiny vibe, with the futuristic she-warrior ducked behind the boulder in the foreground and the alien stalking her, but there’s a lot more detail to pick out if you peer closer into the abstract background. Really, Josh’s inspiration here comes from any and every game that features functional character growth and an emphasis on customization. Games stick to the script laid out in the code that powers them, but they increasingly give us the opportunity to flesh out individualized experiences.

Take Back NY

Take Back NY © Joshua Mongeau

Josh hails from New York City, and he was struck by the contaminated post-apocalyptic Big Apple envisioned in Ubisoft Massive’s Tom Clancy RPG, The Division. For today’s final piece, we have his take on what could easily double as both a poster for the upcoming game and a fictional call to action within the game for those caught in a contagion-ravaged NYC.

artist Joshua MongeauJoshua Mongeau is an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums. In addition to his work on branding, logos, illustrations, and advertising, he’s also created art for children’s books, film/video games (including work for Lucasfilm), and the graphic novel, M.E.N.D. You can check out more of Josh’s work on his portfolio website right here.

Adam Rosenberg is Digital Trends Gaming and Movies Editor. Previously, he worked in the games press as a freelance writer and critic for a range of outlets, including Digital Trends, Joystiq, G4, Official Xbox Magazine, MTV News, and Rolling Stone.

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