The growth of better graphics and smarter A.I., if nothing else, has improved the video game market. Today we have the PC and three very different video game consoles for us to choose from. Each one has their appeal to different audiences. Each one handles the points of realism in there own way. A little over twenty years ago, we only had Nintendo to keep us busy when it was to cold and raining outside. Now we have several outlets to feed our imaginations, and the realism in games just further adds to that. I say continue on with the increasingly amazing graphics and better A.I. We can enjoy all of the things we would not or could not do in real life in a real life setting without harming ourselves or anyone else. I think that is just good gaming.
Philip Hanan, Freelance Writer
We're in a gaming environment made up of two types of game designs: Realistic and Artistic. These two styles apply to both graphics and controls. Some gamers desire a world where they can live out fantasies virtually, but most game developers and artists long for something different and creative.
When video games were first designed, they were simulations. There were simulations of Tic-Tac-Toe, Ping Pong, Racing, etc. It gave people a chance to try something that they may not have in real life or a chance to try something without using up too much space. Eventually, gamers grew bored of realism and Nintendo was aware of that. Gamers wanted characters they could relate to, but with new experiences they couldn't have in real life. Space Invaders was the first game with characters and was widely popular. Nintendo caught on and put loads of characters in their own games with experiences that were realistic in some sense of gameplay mechanics, but artistic in the means of action and sometimes background design.
These games with realistic physics and unrealistic action were popular for 10 years or more, but with the invention of 3D video game consoles, gamers wanted to see them used to depict action as realistically as possible. This was done so quite often, even with 2D games, although most 2D games couldn't deliver the level of graphic realism that gamers wanted.
Now, realistic games often provide less innovation, and many gamers are tired of games altogether. They still love realistic gameplay that makes them feel like they're in the game, but they don't want to do something that they can in real life. Often, gamers still want sports simulations if they can't play well in real life, but other types of simulations should provide something unique. I'd say that's why so many gamers are playing futuristic FPSs. They provide realistic detail and action, but can also feature fantasy and unrealistic effects.
Now, each game console is focusing on different game designs. Wii is focusing on realistic controls, but featuring mostly artistic games. Xbox 360 is focusing on realistic games with artistic design and downloadable artistic games. PS3 is focusing solely on realism.
Realism in games isn't bad as long as it doesn't restrict creativeness. I personally love Teen rated games because most are hybrids. Ratchet and Clank, for example, is one of my favorites as it delivers realistic violence combined with artistic weaponry and lost of humor. I believe game developers will eventually produce what gamers want and gamers will stop buying games just because they exist.
Greig McAllister, Freelance Writer
Since the earliest days of my memory, game developers have been at work trying to produce the best game on the market. Now with the availability of such extraordinary technology as the next-generation consoles, the focus has shifted to producing not only the best game, but also the most realistic.
As games have gotten more and more realistic, some gamers have enjoyed the intensity of such a realistic experience while others have wondered why new games should be focused on producing such realism when many people play games as a method of escape and such a realistic game takes away from that. Still others feel that such an intense focus on making sure that a game is truly realistic before releasing it results in many games having great graphics and realistic physics engine while more important things like character development and storyline are neglected.
I personally have enjoyed the progress of realism in gaming, but I also agree with gamers that play for a temporary escape from the stresses of life. I do not want to play a game that is so true to life that I am reminded of what is happening in the world around me. I think many would agree that a game like that defeats the purpose of even playing it. An exception to this is war games from historical conflicts like World War I and II. Games like this help give us an idea of what it was like to be there, and although it is nowhere near what it was like to really be there, it is sufficient to inspire us all to remember the heroes who fought and died to protect their countries. Not to mention the fact that it gives us a chance to kill some of the most hated enemies of all time.
In retrospect, many of my friends will tell you that I have always said that good graphics and realism are not what makes a truly great game. Some of my favorite games of all time are from early generation consoles where an exciting and enjoyable gaming experience was game developers' focus rather than a really realistic game. Yet, with the latest technology, the really clever and experienced developers have started putting out games that present an exciting scenario, such as saving the human race from an alien invasion or running from the cops at blazing speeds in a tricked out ride, alongside beautifully detailed landscapes and characters as well as a cutting edge physics engine. I believe that these are the games that will pave the way to the future of gaming.
Altogether I truly enjoy the increased realism in gaming and I look forward to future games that will continue to grow in realism as long as gaming companies remember that the most realistic game is not necessarily the best game.