Artist brings Mass Effect cast into the Dragon Age universe

Tom Senior at

This painting by artist Andrew Ryan (not that one) re-imagines the cast of Mass Effect as a band of warriors, mages, knights and archers from Dragon Age. The Normandy is a high dragon ridden by Joker, Garrus is an awesome crossbow-wielding knight, Jack's a blood mage elf, EDI is a golem. It works quite brilliantly.

Kotaku received word from the artist that the work was finally complete. Each character was designed separately before being combined in the final diorama. According to his Deviant Art page, Ryan is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Visual Arts and is "always looking for new and exciting art opportunities, primarily related to concept art/books illustration/ or card game art." Read on for more close ups of the individual characters. Which one is your favourite?

Well-endowed: NEA now issuing grants for digital works

Lucas Sullivan at

Looks like the "are games art?" argument just got a little more complicated. The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that has so far allocated over $4 billion to "support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation," has reworked one of its grant categories to include "digital games." If you think your game's got enough artistic merit, the NEA could be willing to grant you up to $200,000. And that ain't chump change.

Crysis as a work of art: an astonishing gallery of shots

Tom Francis at

Our friend and sometime contributor Duncan Harris is obsessed with what he calls real-time art: capturing the beauty of video games in vast, crisp screenshots unblemished by health bars and HUDs. He uses graphics mods, ultra-resolution textures and screengrabbing hacks to squeeze out every last pixel of detail, and nowhere to greater effect than with Crysis.

Below are a few of my favourites - including the best screenshot of mud you will ever see. But grab the whole zip of 100 1920x1080 screenshots from Duncan's site Dead End Thrills for the whole collection. You'll also find some amazing images of the Mass Effect games there, and many more. Can Crysis 2's urban scenes ever measure up to this?

TF2 used as gallery showcase. Hats not mentioned.

PC Gamer at

Steam forum member 'thedefiant' – student Christopher Wyant - used Valve's FPS as a medium to display an art project for his university degree. In an attempt to create some kind of mad feedback loop that'll doom the whole galaxy, he set up a server in TF2, displaying custom sprays of ceramic pots. Having taken screenshots of the carnage that went on in the serene virtual gallery, he then set up a real gallery in Auburn University, displaying both pictures of the ceramics in-game as well as the actual physical ceramics themselves. Everybody present at both events had their brains explode.

As making people's brains explode is an unusual thing to do, especially with art, we asked Christopher directly what his motives were.