Forums - Gaming Discussion - Why Photo Realistic Graphics is Doomed to Fail

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We are getting closer to photo realistic graphics by each passing year, and it won't be long until we are there. Is this a good thing though? No, it isn't. There will be at least a period of time where Photo Realistic games might get shunned, and this is because of the Uncanny Valley:

"The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics and 3D computer animation, which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers."

This will have a profound effect on video games! As it is now games like Uncharted, CoD, Battlefield and many, many more is trying to achieve photo realistic graphics, and provided that this hypothesis holds true these games are doomed to fail in the future!

Of course, this will only be the case for a while - maybe a generation - until we will achieve true photo realistic graphics, but then we'll have another question at hand: how will we react killing an enemy in the game that looks so real? What impact will this have on our psyches?

I for one, believe that the best ways to go for video games is to be just that; a video game. I don't think it'll be good for games to be as realistic as possible. What do you think?

This is what I mean:

 

There is something seriously disturbing with these pictures!

Discuss!



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Depends on the game/circumstances/goals of the dev. Certain games work well will closer-to-real-life visuals. No, not every game needs them, but if a market can exist for these types of games with stylized visuals, I see no reason why more realistic game graphics can't have their place.

That's the problem I see with many in the industry (gamers, journalists, and some devs alike), when something works, we suddenly think it should be done away with for "fear" that's it's going to impair the market. The aim to try and reach reality hasn't hurt the industry (from where I'm sitting, seems like it's helped out a lot). And btw, Naughty Dog has never tried to achieve photo-realism with any of the Uncharted titles (they stated very clearly that they were avoiding that). The games have a stylized look that avoid The Uncanny Vally completely.

As for what The Uncanny Valley is, you're preaching to the choir.



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CGI-Quality said:
Depends on the game/circumstances/goals of the dev. Certain games work well will closer-to-real-life visuals. No, not every game needs them, but if a market can exist for these types of games with stylized visuals, I see no reason why more realistic game graphics can't have their place.

That's the problem I see with many in the industry (gamers, journalists, and some devs alike), when something work, we suddenly think it should be done away with for "fear" that's it's going to impair the market.

As for what The Uncanny Valley is, you're preaching to the choir.

I thought I'd find you here.

As for myself, I'm in "graphics are fine the way they are now" camp. That's not to say I would shun better graphics, it's not a big deciding factor in my gaming decisions.



"The path of the righteous poster is beset on all sides by the inequities of the trollish and the tyranny of flaming men.
Blessed is he, who in the name of decency and good discussion, stays on topic through the valley of cheap shots, for he is truly his forum's keeper and the finder of lost quality.
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to flame and troll other users.
And you will know my name is the Mod when I lay my banhammer upon thee.
"

Stopped reading when I read that COD was close to photo-realism.

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All i wish is that more developers would move away from the "real is brown" camp.

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Uncharted and Call of Duty are definitely not trying to achieve photo realistic graphics. Uncharted is filled with vibrant colors and has a unique art style where Call of Duty is on the realistic side it is just ugly and hasn't been upgraded for years. Battlefield 3 took a step in the right direction. Look up photo realistic games on youtube for PC. We are already pretty much there with extreme high end PC's. For consoles another decade or so, maybe more and I doubt if they will get shunned. However devs will need to find new ways to innovate because if it is a copy and paste format of game play then people will grow bored and move on. The games with the good graphics will no longer stand out but the ones with good artistic styles.



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TruckOSaurus said:
CGI-Quality said:
Depends on the game/circumstances/goals of the dev. Certain games work well will closer-to-real-life visuals. No, not every game needs them, but if a market can exist for these types of games with stylized visuals, I see no reason why more realistic game graphics can't have their place.

That's the problem I see with many in the industry (gamers, journalists, and some devs alike), when something work, we suddenly think it should be done away with for "fear" that's it's going to impair the market.

As for what The Uncanny Valley is, you're preaching to the choir.

I thought I'd find you here.

As for myself, I'm in "graphics are fine the way they are now" camp. That's not to say I would shun better graphics, it's not a big deciding factor in my gaming decisions.

My favorite subject in all of gaming.

It's not so much because of graphics (though they help), but the psychology that accompanies the effects they have on mankind that have always intrigued me. It's why I can't be stripped away from story driven games that go for a real-life approach. 



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ps3-sales! said:
Stopped reading when I read that COD was close to photo-realism.

Would you be happier and continue to read on if I edited that part out? :p



I'm on Twitter @DanneSandin!

Furthermore, I think VGChartz should add a "Like"-button.

That's an interesting topic and there is some merit to your points, but I also think that the struggle for photo realistic graphics in games also has shown some interesting side effects already in the game industry. Given that photo realism tends to go with high production values (AAA game development), I think that it has altered the value of games as a whole. I am not a fan of big budget prodcutions because of the emphasis on graphics over game play. That's not to say that all games are like this and there are some AAA style games that I like, but I generally think that in those games there is very little to differentiate one title from the next as they seem to regurgitate one type of gameplay where the only unique quality between titles is the character models and worlds themselves. 

Perhaps that has more to do with how long it takes to produce these high quality visuals and inevitably that struggle will lead to technology that makes producing that level of detail easier, but my general conclusion on that matter is that all this tech has just made the big budget studios lazy and its entirely plausible that game quality will suffer because of the technology...time will tell though.



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JayWood2010 said:

Uncharted and Call of Duty are definitely not trying to achieve photo realistic graphics. Uncharted is filled with vibrant colors and has a unique art style where Call of Duty is on the realistic side it is just ugly and hasn't been upgraded for years. Battlefield 3 took a step in the right direction. Look up photo realistic games on youtube for PC. We are already pretty much there with extreme high end PC's. For consoles another decade or so, maybe more and I doubt if they will get shunned. However devs will need to find new ways to innovate because if it is a copy and paste format of game play then people will grow bored and move on. The games with the good graphics will no longer stand out but the ones with good artistic styles.

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are the only console games that really go for photo-realism, and they work for that game structure. But on PC, we have stuff like:

 

Besides some racing sims (console and PC), this is about as close to photo-realistic as we've ever gotten. I use environments instead of characters because that's much more to render.



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