Mountains in video games. An outline
Mountains have long been generating interest among artists. The same applies to mountain motifs associated with folklore or beliefs, which find their reflections in painting, sculpture or literature. Yet the mountains are also an important part of the virtual landscape, which is an important element of the aesthetics and plots of video games. The aim of the article is to highlight the significance of the mountains in the development of character mechanics, action and technological change, i.e. the transition from 2D to 3D. In addition, the author presents a historical overview of the functioning of the mountains in games, particularly with regard to the titles that belong to broadly defined cRPG classics. Another aspect tackled in the article is the symbolism of the mountains in virtual entertainment and extensive descriptions of the mountain ecosystem based on the peoples, races and monsters functioning within it. The author also analyses the cultural function of the mountains as evidenced by selected peoples inhabiting the mountains in the various games. This is reflected in the costumes, weaponry, conduct and beliefs of the various social groups living in the highlands. The author carries out an extensive analysis of the way mountain landscapes have been presented in the most popular games of recent years, from the Tomb Raider series to the Mass Effect series. The research conducted by the author illustrates the functional significance and use of mountain motifs in games that are seemingly not associated directly with them, e.g. Assassin’s Creed. Another extremely important point examined in the article is a unique phenomenon in the form of the representation of the mountains in the highly popular game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The author has taken into account a number of factors associated with the functioning of the mountains in the game, including technical factors, those associated with character mechanics or culture (representation of people living in the mountains and their everyday life) as well as the commercial potential brought by the mountains to the promotional strategy of that popular game. The research presented in the article is a starting point for further exploration of the mountains and mountain-related themes in video games.