Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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Dayz Gets Its Own Embedded Journalist/War Photographer

DayZ war photograph Falling Zombie

Dayz, the cult multiplayer zombie sandbox survival MMO I wrote about recently, has a passionate fanbase in great part due to its wildly unpredictable gameplay, so it's no surprise it now has something else: An embedded journalist. Check out the war photography of Joss Widdowson, who just announced on Reddit that he's available to accompany DayZ combat teams as they struggle to survive hordes of undead... and other survivors. I particularly love Joss' photo above, which eerily resembles "The Falling Soldier", a photo that's probably the most war combat photo ever taken. (Now with, you know, a fallen zombie.)

"I picture it as a 'notes from the front line' kind of thing," Joss tells me. "Not that the zombie war has any front lines. I meet up with people and groups and spend some time following them and trying to find an angle for the story." As it happens, Davidson is well-suited for the gig, because he's a photographer in real life, specializing in fine art and documentation/performance -- check his site here.

As Second Life's former embedded journalist, I heartily approve of all this:

DayZ war photograph

Unlike traditional MMOs, a game like DayZ allows for much for emergent gameplay and social conflicts, with unexpected shifts in player's fortunes and alliances. Indeed, there are dozens of popular YouTube videos of people playing DayZ and commenting on the action (basically acting as roving video reporters), and the best are surprisingly fascinating. So I have to think someone with Joss' eye will do the same, even with more virtual drama and terror. To bring him along as a war photographer for your next DayZ mission, send him an e-mail at DayZWarPhoto at gmail dot com.

Photos above owned and courtesy of Joss Widdowson. Thanks to Rick Moffat for the tip.

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Emperor Norton

Don't you think that's it going down the rabbit hole a bit to far when you mix up a screen shot from a computer game with a picture of real life violence?

Hamlet Au

That's a good point; I actually considered running the Spanish Civil War photo alongside the DayZ screenshot, but decided against it for that very concern.

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