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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FPS Doug:
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Newsflash

There seems to be yet another contestant in the ring for the big video-game-violence debate. This time it's a harvard study, that is rather positive towards what conservatives and others seem to consider the scourge of the new millenium. I havent read the study yet, but from the title and the release-date alone, i d rather be sceptical, as it looks like they are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the GTA IV release hype. Since i m also very sceptical about any study that seems to be politically motivated and / or which use uni-causal reductionist arguments to blame video-games for the evils of the world, i m also pretty interested to read it. The excerpts presented on their website are nice to read and seem to be garnered towards practical parenting advice, and seem to hit the right chords imho. So, if you are a worried mother or father and dont want to wade through all the FUD that is generated by people with political agendas and / or bad research papers, give this a shot. Or even better, just try to play some games with your kids and talk about them and the way your kids actually feel about playing them. Because gaming is a great social experience and everybody benefits from getting a little perspective when otherwise being left alone with emotionally challenging material. So, no matter if you re playing it safe (*g*) and getting some professional advice from a book like this one, or if you re more inclined to try to understand your children on your own, dont forget to have some fun by playing some games with the kids while doing it ;)