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Realism In Video Games


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#1 Goofy

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:16 AM

Why do people always strive to replicate reality within something as virtual as video games? Is it solely for the sake of immersion? That being asked, I feel that games do not need to mimic reality in order to be "immersive". Let's take the Metal Gear series for example. The kind of things that happen within the series is ridiculous. There are people contacting the dead, surviving falls from gigantic bipedal robots, controlling wasps, taking down tanks singlehandedly, using psychic powers, calculating ricochet physics precisely and instantaneously, etc. However, this series is simply compelling. You "believe" it can happen, even though common sense tells you "No f***ing way!". If this is possible, why is it that people complain about some games not being "real" enough? The entire game is artificial, yet people strive to make it as close to reality as they possibly can.

This brings me to the graphics. Why do so many people want their games to look "realistic"? What does that offer us? If we ever do reach a point where our games become photorealistic, won't it just look boring? Where's the artistry in simply reproducing what our eyes already see? The medium is capable of so much more than this. Take the games from Clover Studio for example. "Viewtiful Joe" looks quite good to this day, yet it's far from being realistic. The upcoming "Okami" is even further removed from reality, but I can't help but be intoxicated by the visuals. And what discussion about video games as an art form is complete with the mention of "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus"? Ico's textures weren't all that detailed, and neither were the character models, yet it's breathtaking. I felt as though I was "in" the game even though it was clear that what I was looking at was not reality.

Discuss before I go nats >>
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#2 eee

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:20 AM

Why do people always strive to replicate reality within something as virtual as video games? Is it solely for the sake of immersion? That being asked, I feel that games do not need to mimic reality in order to be "immersive". Let's take the Metal Gear series for example. The kind of things that happen within the series is ridiculous. There are people contacting the dead, surviving falls from gigantic bipedal robots, controlling wasps, taking down tanks singlehandedly, using psychic powers, calculating ricochet physics precisely and instantaneously, etc. However, this series is simply compelling. You "believe" it can happen, even though common sense tells you "No f***ing way!". If this is possible, why is it that people complain about some games not being "real" enough? The entire game is artificial, yet people strive to make it as close to reality as they possibly can.

This brings me to the graphics. Why do so many people want their games to look "realistic"? What does that offer us? If we ever do reach a point where our games become photorealistic, won't it just look boring? Where's the artistry in simply reproducing what our eyes already see? The medium is capable of so much more than this. Take the games from Clover Studio for example. "Viewtiful Joe" looks quite good to this day, yet it's far from being realistic. The upcoming "Okami" is even further removed from reality, but I can't help but be intoxicated by the visuals. And what discussion about video games as an art form is complete with the mention of "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus"? Ico's textures weren't all that detailed, and neither were the character models, yet it's breathtaking. I felt as though I was "in" the game even though it was clear that what I was looking at was not reality.

Discuss before I go nats >>

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you pretty much nailed it in the coffin i mean graphics can only go as perfect as they can and i think making games look realisticly would be kind of dumb by you wanting games meaning you wanna play an arcade or simulated game i think xbox 360(the graphics) is the best it can get or at least that should be the best it can get i mean ps3 will try to top it but you can only go so far
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#3 darthmalis

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:30 AM

That is a very simplistic view. It is like saying that just because you have more options, you can't be creative. Some of the most beutiful art is done with a computer.While there are some interesting things painted on cave walls, they are not as aesthetically pleasing to modern man as the art that has come after them. Some games are better with realistic graphis. GTA will get even more fun as they add realism to it. If you don't want things to improve just stick with what you have now and don't bother buying the 360 or the PS3.
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#4 switch

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 10:17 PM

I totally agree with Goofy. One of the best things about games is the fact that you can do stuff that you would normally never dream of doing, and if the graphics are too realistic, I think it just kills that atmosphere of fantasy. Also, the really brilliant stuff is often the way that the graphics are used: I mean, realistic or not, if the graphics aren't breathtaking, if they don't have the right feel to them, then they count for nothing anyway.

Dungeon Siege is a brilliant example of this. The graphics aren't as real as they could be, but WOAH the scenery is amazing. True Art at its finest.
Also the cinematics in final fantasy 8... the people don't look entirely real, but the cinematics are still absolutely amazing. And the computer generated look of the whole thing is part of what makes it special. Makes it look like animation as opposed to photography.
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#5 Cool_Freaker

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:27 AM

There's nothing wrong with striving for realism in a game. Think of the possibilities, which somehow make the player more involved in the game. Imagine a car simulator, which allows you to drive something you normally could never afford, or, as antisocial as it may be, realism of dating sims or whatever could be equally appealing to some people. There is a lot of reason for realism; why would artists attempt realistic pictures or paintings at all if realism offered "nothing".

Of course more abstract and wacky graphics and art has it's own charm, and to be honest, I do prefer that kind of thing in games. I do know a lot of people who would beg to differ though, and it's an opinion I respect and understand where they're coming from.
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#6 ZeroHawk

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 03:08 AM

I dont really like realism much in games. Take NHL Hits 2003 for example. Sports games usually try to be realistic, but Hitz strays way away from that. You can play hockey in a car factory, a barn, have players set on fire, and get rewarded for fighting. And its the funnest sports video game Ive played. When I play games, I wanna forget about reality. I wanna have fun. There are many games that have great graphics or are realisitc, but aren't that fun and therefore aren't that great of a game (according to me). To be honest, most (like 8 out of my top 10) of my favorite games are over 10 years old. Before they had realisitc graphics. They just are more... fun. For me its all about enjoying the game, and I find that "realism" takes away from that enjoyement often. Sometims I think that people are forgetting that video games are supposed to be fun. Thats what they started as: entertainment, not art. Good art can help a game be more fun, but too much focus on art and gfx... And so on...
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#7 Cerebral Stasis

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:47 PM

The whole point of video game realism is to allow the gamer to better feel as if they are actually a part of the game, instead of just a player of the game. True, there is a certain point that shouldn't be crossed with realism, else a game becomes just as boring as real life, but having things look and act as one imagines they would if the world was real only enhances the experience that comes with gaming.
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#8 Sizux

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 08:28 PM

They try to make games as real as possible without unbalancing the gameplay. For example, let's suppose the game is realistic in every aspect--you'd die in one hit, so the game would be hard. Once you die, you'd never come back to life. You cannot load or save the game. You have to eat, sleep, and do ordinary tasks as often as you do yourself, which would require patience and much effort. Games try to be as realistic as they can, but they cannot do everything without creating a horrible mess.
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#9 .hack//GU

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 05:07 AM

For me, videogame is not realistic after all. Think about it, if a videogame is so... realistic, then why won't you play it by yourself? For example, I often played soccer videogame in the old-consoles, until SNES. But, after it's so much realistic like in Sony PlayStation (Winning Eleven if I'm not wrong), I stop playing it. Better I went to the soccer ground and play it with my friends.

That is an example of what I've seen about realistic in videogame. For me, maybe cool graphics can make something so real, to think now with XBOX360 out, the model in the game almost as real as real person outside the videogame world. Yeah, I thought that's good...

Gamer as player in the game is what they had to be, I thought. We as gamers play in something different than normal world, the real world we live in. I myself play videogames only if it's something I cannot do in real life. Take example as Metal Gear Solid if you would. There's no possibility for me to go to do espionage if not in the game.

The next the more unrealistic game is one like 'free-roaming genre'. Some believes GTA 3 is the first who make this genre popular. See, the unrealistic make the game is so much famous. It's crazy if someone just go to the trafiic and hijack the cars as he wish, or get a gun and kill anyone he met then noone put him in the jail?

But there are also a field of videogame that I want to be real. You see, .hack// series made the new world (a game called THE WORLD) which can transfer a real human mind into the game? Is that a reallistic of a gaming? If it's yes, I really wish to see a time where I can go to the 'unreal' world, roaming within THE WORLD like in the game / anime.

From its ancestor, the game is not realistic. See how Mario Bros and the first Contra in NES? They are the pioneer of videogame (if you said Pong is the first game, then it is the pioneer). So, why must we put so much reallistic in videogame? To end my rants, I don't play Splinter Cell series because I thought it's just too reallistic.
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#10 kawasu

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Posted 26 March 2006 - 01:59 AM

to me, it all depends on the game. some games, the more serious games, suit a realistic atmosphere whilst others are alot better being cartoonish. as teh above stated gta series being a realistic game just imagine it being cartooish. it would be crap. no1 would want to play it. and vice versa with a cartoony game like super smash bros melee. if that was realistic where would teh fun be? jajajajaja u get my point. different games need different levels of realism. its not about realism being everything, its just better to have in particular types of games.
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#11 Thelaw

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:07 AM

Goofy i dislike you now!!! You just used a game that i *BLEEP*ing love as an example. That game is realistic in perceptive minds. And back than games werent made to be realistic, they were made to have fun and make you think out side the box. Today peopel strive for it becuase they ran out of material and its a higher demand becuase this world is so *BLEEP*ed up. Believe It! Also how bout Pacman or wrestling. Do you see people losing stamina after 7 consective hits. or maybe socom, where you take 2 bullets to the head because of Lag. Realism in games is alright sometimes and than sometimes not. so James Bond, Halo not realistic enough. Huh! as i see it you didnt use any good supporting detail to make fun of a game. Wow fall form heights... but where is this contact the dead lol. That never happened. And blowing up tanks with Grenades not bare hands. And also fallign from huge things, is alittel weird... But the game is supposed to revolve around Generation and Evolution of war. Cloning! You see us doing it today almost... So how is this game un realistic... *BLEEP* you don't even know what you got yourself into lol.
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#12 Radioactive

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 06:24 PM

Well, games are evolving, and eventually they will become as realistic as they can get. The main point of realism besides immersing the player, is to allow us to do things that wo normally couldn't or weren't allowed to do in real life, with the bonus of being like it is real life.

For example, one recent game with almost realistic graphics like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter allows us to fight with some advanced weaponry and technology that do not exist these days and will exist in the future.

In the real world, we would never start a war on purpose to experience how it feels. This way, we can experience the fight without the harm of hurting ourselves, thus making us feel secure, and actually enjoying the experience. This is why war and shooting games can be enjoyed, because if we could realy hurt ourselves, we would think everything except being fun.

Imagine a life simulation game so real as the own reality, where we were able to do all our daily activities like eating, working, sleeping, earning money, every aspect possible (of course I can't name them all but you get the point).
The main difference between the real life and the game is that we have fun with the game, doing things that if done in real life we would not have any fun at all (like commiting some sort of act that could result in arrest).

In the game, you could go in the street kicking people around and breaking everything on your way. That would be extremelly fun (and stress-relieving) in a realistic life-simulation game.
Now imagine yourself doing that in real life. It could even be more stress-relieving, oh yes, but you would spend the rest of your days in real prision, having no enjoyment at all.

So, realistic games are meant for having the fun of doing things we are not able to do in real life, either because it is impossible, or it is against the law, or it's extremely improbable.

Edited by Radioactive, 24 May 2006 - 06:24 PM.

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#13 Thelaw

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:49 PM

Radioactive, i like your post, it has meanign and euthusiam to it, You really know how it is to be a gamer, I liek how you wandered into Virtual reality. And simulation of life itself.
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#14 Florisjuh

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:36 PM

Not every game strives to be as realistic as possible. Just because graphics look realistic and very good doesn't mean that the game is crappy. The reason games are getting much advanced if you look at the graphics, is because the eye wants something as well. A good example for a game which has very nice graphics but isn't realistic at all is "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars", which is a futuristic shooter putting humans versus strogg (alien) invadors. It has not been released yet, but it has already have the Gamespy multiplayer game of the year award :)
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#15 Absolute

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:51 PM

Why do people always strive to replicate reality within something as virtual as video games? Is it solely for the sake of immersion? That being asked, I feel that games do not need to mimic reality in order to be "immersive". Let's take the Metal Gear series for example. The kind of things that happen within the series is ridiculous. There are people contacting the dead, surviving falls from gigantic bipedal robots, controlling wasps, taking down tanks singlehandedly, using psychic powers, calculating ricochet physics precisely and instantaneously, etc. However, this series is simply compelling. You "believe" it can happen, even though common sense tells you "No f***ing way!". If this is possible, why is it that people complain about some games not being "real" enough? The entire game is artificial, yet people strive to make it as close to reality as they possibly can.

This brings me to the graphics. Why do so many people want their games to look "realistic"? What does that offer us? If we ever do reach a point where our games become photorealistic, won't it just look boring? Where's the artistry in simply reproducing what our eyes already see? The medium is capable of so much more than this. Take the games from Clover Studio for example. "Viewtiful Joe" looks quite good to this day, yet it's far from being realistic. The upcoming "Okami" is even further removed from reality, but I can't help but be intoxicated by the visuals. And what discussion about video games as an art form is complete with the mention of "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus"? Ico's textures weren't all that detailed, and neither were the character models, yet it's breathtaking. I felt as though I was "in" the game even though it was clear that what I was looking at was not reality.

Discuss before I go nats >>



I think that you are missing the whole point of games and gaming. Its supposed to be fun. If your going over every detail of the game then its becoming more then a game and ending up more like an obsession. If i'm giong to spend $50 on a game i want the game to be good and look good. I dont want to waste that much money on a game that looks like pong. And on the other hand i dont want to fret over every detail of the game either....who cares if the tree has 3 leafs instead of four. Who cares if the metal from the explosion isn't proportional. If i'm thinking that deep on the game then it has no fun value anymore.
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