How the Photo Mode Became a Homogenized Feature of Commodified Games

In Ljubljana, I got lost one day. Wandering over damp cobblestone in alleyway after alleyway, meandering through a city I didn't know until all bearings had been lost. In these tall, narrow passages there were no colossal landmarks for even a general orientation. No compass, no watch, no smartphone, no map. Only my memory and the occasional snapshot of some gargoyle, laundry forgotten in the unexpected snowfall, or a precariously perched Laško can to Hänsel-und-Gretel my way back to the hostel where my partner rested.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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The cynical view is that this feature has become standard in AAA games not because of demand from players, but because it’s a way of making every player a potential freelance marketer for the game.

We likely won’t see a novel approach like FFXV again, or a means of taking deliberately ugly pictures, because the intention is for players to share only screenshots that are flattering to the game’s visuals.