The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
Merely translating Piranesi's art into an interactive world offering nothing more than itself would be interesting to some degree, but there is also such a variety of intended and unintended intellectual content embedded in his oeuvre that could be explored.
I have already described Piranesi's environments as "sublime"; as we increasingly find ourselves living in a metaphysically conscious world and one that designates places as tourist attractions, on top of offering the conveniences of navigational services like Google Maps, two questions that might be asked are: These questions, and more, could be developed into narratives and supported by an interpretation of Piranesi's type of sublimity.
Along the lines of my question posed about the camera, Piranesi's less pragmatic and more original compositions cause me to wonder if he would have seen videogames as a space to explore his ideas.
It was common practice in his time to place detailed, gesticulating figures within built or natural environments to better convey scale, and there is no reason to think that Piranesi did not use this trope partly with the same intent; but his figures may also be there as a second-hand way for him to have with the drawn environments.
Thousands of videogames later, it is an absurd fact -- and this is just one example -- that music written before the twentieth century has only been utilized several dozen times by videogame soundtracks, and it is all the more absurd now that games are prominent and technologically capable enough to feature live music.
As the years go by, the material that is particular to videogames begins to look less like a rich internal legacy and more like an incestuous imaginative range, especially where contemporary mainstream titles are concerned.
None of this is to say that these kinds of games cannot be entertaining -- there is some appeal to a technically well crafted game with pop-imagery; Konami's early 90s tie-in beat-'em-ups, for example, are admired by many players -- but it is to say that videogames' interpretive contributions mainly are profit-driven emboldenings of contemporary, moving-picture media.
Putting the claim of videogames as spatial fantasies and that of the low amount and diversity of games that respond to pre-existing material together, I would like to present two artists whom I believe developers should know about.