A truly epic video game relies on many factors to deliver a compelling experience, but the artistry behind the fancy graphics remains one of the most fascinating aspects of them all.
The 2012 "Into the Pixel" exhibition, hosted by the Entertainment Software Association and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, celebrates the breathtaking scenes and unforgettable characters created by the often under-appreciated game artists who influence the design of popular video games. A jury of 10 representatives from the video game and art industries chose from a large pool of entrants and came up with 16 original works from games including Journey and Mass Effect 3.
"Now that public institutions have accepted video games as a legitimate form of art, there is no question that video game art has and will continue to have a place in the contemporary art scene," Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, said in a statement.
Click through our gallery to see all of the stunning pictures from the 2012 "Into the Pixel" exhibition.
"Into the Pixel" officially debuts during the 2012 E3 gaming expo, which runs from June 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Also, be sure check out our coverage of last year's .