An experiment with screenshots from game-of-the-season, Rocket League.
I love Rocket League [official site] dearly. It is a game about footballing cars which involves enough skill that you feel like there’s a game to learn – or even to master – but enough riotous joy that you can play chaotically with friends of all skill levels. At the moment I spend roughly 50% of my play time being competent, 25% sailing majestically past the ball because I can’t master three dimensional space and 25% being bullied and exploded by friends because “exploding Pip’s things and also Pip” is a favourite minigame across many titles and platforms.
Scoring a goal feels great, whether it’s a cheeky chip, a stealthy steal or a mighty biff from the halfway line that would rival David Beckham’s performance against Wimbledon is Beckham had a) been a car and b) Wimbledon hadn’t become the Milton Keynes Dons a billion years ago when I still followed football. A well-executed assist feels brilliant too. That urge to capture that joyful feeling and record moments of genius is why replays exist. You want to save and savour those goals.
Something I’ve been noticing is that I forget to save the replays. My instinct in these situations is always to reach for the screenshot button and thus I now have a LOT of images of circles heading towards rectangles, curiously bereft of any of the emotion I associate with the game. It’s partly because, without movement, you can’t get a sense of the personalities these little cars express and partly because in the few moments you see during the in-match replay there’s barely any time to frame or consider a shot.
I thought I’d try turning them into something else using some of the apps on my phone.
An explody goal chipped in from the right after a mighty Pip assist:
A cheeky chip which bounced in from a quarter of the way down the pitch:
A powerful accidental header (roofer?) which I claimed as “incredible skill”
Another explode goal which kind of ended up closer to a Rorschach test:
I really like how still this gentle roll over the goal line seems, along with the rain and what look like cypress trees in the background:
And to finish, I just like how some of these explosion close-ups remind me of nebulae in space photography: