Realism: the bane of video-gaming PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lutzifer   
Sonntag, 20 Januar 2008

ImageThe one thing that gamers and game-developers have been striving to get right for ages is realism. Even in fantasy worlds the avatars transporting the story have to be objects that one can bond with. And any constraint that stops people from feeling drawn into the world, destroys that illusion of immersion. There has been alot of research in the area of perception that can help make games more believable and realistic but may also help in reducing the overall complexity of the rendering of images. Because just as mp3s have helped tone down the needed bitrate by psycho-accoustic research, similar gains could be achieved by looking at the research done on visual perception. As one thing is sure, the visual system likes to be deceived. What struck me as odd for example is that it took the video-gaming industry so long to raise the detail-levels for faces, when it was well-known that the human brain has a much higher resolution for faces than for most other things combined. ...
 

With the increasingly realistic games, that we see nowadays with the so called next-gen hardware (and in alot of cases already with last-gen hardware as well), a new problem arises that isnt technical in nature, but rather cultural at its core. While the majority of the people i know "get video games", e.g. understand their value and the possibly problematic issues surrounding them, alot of conservative people in places of power dont. Or do and just utilize the concerns about video games to help them through their political campaigns or further other agendas. Just like media companies do. And why do they do it? Simply put, because it is so easy. Video games have become so realistic, that the visuals have a huge effect on people who dont play, and the gaming industry usually doesnt object when their intellectual properties are taken out of context in the media. I know that in 10-25 years time we will all laugh about the transitory problems that video gaming has faced and perhaps politicians will try to vilify and demonize other new forms of entertainment that have emerged by then. But sadly alot of issues that should be discussed - instead of scapegoating video-games because it's so easy - will still be ignored most likely as they are today. That is the reason why in my opinion realism is the greatest achievement but also the bane of the industry.




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Last Updated ( Dienstag, 26 Februar 2008 )
 
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Biofeedback and / or human-machine interaction via brainwaves (e.g. EEG or EOG) has been used in the scientific community and in military R&D for quite some time and has yielded a broad  spectrum of different results. Still it struck me as odd, when i saw techreport reporting on a new gadget for gamers: a neural headband controller. I really like innovation in the field of input-controllers, but this took me by surprise. And surprise  (or rather the startle reaction) mapped onto a controller might be just the thing to come in handy when in close-combat battles in an FPS and is something i often wished for already.
I highly doubt that the controller will be something that sells well or even work well enough to be usefull as a single controller. As an addon for pro-gamers this might give a certain edge in the competition though, as the startle response is much faster than other motor reactions in gaming. The more one practices games though, the less startled one gets, so this might also be a short-lived gain in superiority only. I d love to get my hands on one of those to test it myself. The last thing i was so excited about was 3D-Shutter glasses and they turned out to be a nuisance rather than aiding the experience. I really hope for OCZ to succeed with this so they can perfect the design or come up with other innovative ideas to spruce up the gaming world.