Blinded by the light

Tracing 1980ies home brew video game graphics programming practices

Up to this day, little advance has been made in studying the material conditions of what makes video game graphics - well - video games graphics. The difference to other visual media lies in the amalgamation of digital computing, and the expression of productive intent or creativity by people. The specifics of video game graphics are deeply rooted in how human ideas must be translated into instructions that a computing system understands, into computer code. Programming computers in return offered novel ways of expression.

To what extent were the technological foundations of early video games and their visuality intertwined, influencing and shaping practices of graphics design? How do game developers leverage programming to shape the visual aesthetics of video games, and what implications do this approach hold for the intersection of technology and aesthetics in game design?