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An art of taking screenshots in video games?

Sometime, in the middle of playing a game, a visual moment sticks out so brightly that I instinctively reach out for the conveniently placed 'screenshot' button on whichever console I am playing on (they all seem to agree on having it now). This wasn't always the case, even in my lifetime which barely scraped the late nineties; but the notion of capturing moments on a digital screen did evolve pretty quickly with the development of computers.

From what is largely known as a very expensive and questionable act, the first ever mention of a screenshot comes from a 1959 polaroid picture of a pin-up model on a 213 million euro Cathode-ray tube screen owned by the American military. While the pioneers of computer engineering of that day kept developing the capability of taking pictures from a computer screen for the next two decades... we had video game enthusiasts waiting in line to boast their high scores.

"The screenshot moved toward the mainstream when it was taken up by gamers who wanted to show off their high scores in the 1980s." - Coluccini, 2020

The enthusiasm to capture moments from on game screens was a rapidly growing and welcome phenomenon. Video game companies and magazine publishers invited players to send in their pictures and even shared the knowledge of how to properly do so.

- A tutorial on how to take screenshots from Nintendo Power, 1988

The wave of freezing these digital moments, storing and sharing them kept compounding till popular video game platforms made the experience as easy as a click of a button during gameplay. Some games do go several stages ahead and introduce a full blown out photography mode, and then there are some digital experiences that simply make capturing moments your prime objective. (Pokémon Snap, I'm thinking about you,) But all of that are ramblings for another day.

For now, time to dump what I have been doing with the art of screenshotting.

Shiny shiny reflections from Forza Horizon 4.

Admiring block colours in Tears of the Kingdom

Lounging in Pokémon Scarlet to running from Eternatus in Pokémon Shield.

Wake up!


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