I've spoken before about how nostalgia typically works in 20/ 30 year cycles (linked below). And so it comes to pass that on the 20th anniversary of the Playstation people have looked back with rose tinted eyes at the games of the early Playstation.
For many it was the first real introduction to the world of polygons, typically games had been 2D and sidescrolling on consoles, PCs had been experimenting with polygons for years, but due to their prohibitive price point was unavailable to many. So with the PS release the first wave of polygon games into being, looking at the gallery below you can see that the art was in it's early stages but there was a cubist beauty to its angles and contours. Many polygons had to be sacrificed in the quest for an improved frame rate. The games may look quite janky now but some, especially those with an interesting art direction, still hold up pretty well.
Over the decade we have seen the revival of pixel art and pixellated games, this has in part been due to the rise of the Indie scene and the affection that the creators have for 8 and 16 bit games... but now its the turn of polygon games. For those in the know the low poly art scene has been in full swing for about 3 years. The idea of producing simple items through limited polygons presents an interesting artistic challenge and there are many tools available to do the job. Some are easy and some are more complex but the end result can be curiously spellbinding. I have spoken before about how you can create immersive worlds without the use of photo-realistic graphics and the same applies here in low poly art, you can create wonderful worlds without needing to make it look exactly like the object as we can fill in the details ourselves. A similar event occurred in ancient Greece, although obviously not with computers, where the statues had become so lifelike that there was nowhere else to go with artistic interpretation so there was a move towards more stylised sculpture.
I for one am glad that there is yet another facet to the video game and art scene and am all for different forms of expression. Long live low poly!