Thursday, July 2, 2009

Have Video Games Truly Progressed?

The more realistic video games become, paradoxically the less realistic they become. I think this is due to the fact that as realism is approached, the standard for what is deemed realistic exponentially increases beyond reach.

For instance, when computer football games initially incorporated voice announcers like John Madden, it was the coolest thing because it was so realistic! But with each successive iteration, it becomes more and more obvious it is not so realistic.

As an example, I love doing really stupid things to expose the sheer absurdity of the supposed “professional commentary”. Let's say I'm playing baseball and pitch not even remotely close to the plate on a 3 and 2 count. Playing offense as well, I swing at it deliberately to strike out. You know what the announcer says with reckless abandon? “That was the perfect pitch in this situation!” HUH? I do not claim to be a baseball maven but I seriously doubt that was the perfect pitch in any situation.

Initially, nobody cared or even noticed that the commentary was mostly inane babble as it was so realistic there was any! But today we have a much more demanding standard as to what constitutes realism and, as such, we are really not getting more realistic.

Will computers ever be able to faithfully recreate human behavior and faces and other almost infinitely complicated things? Maybe, maybe not?

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