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The Case For Surrealism In Games 186

An editorial at PikiGeek takes the position that gaming's trend toward realism can be detrimental in many situations, with the quest for graphical precision supplanting creativity and uniqueness. Quoting: "The problem I find most troubling with realism in games is that video games are inherently unrealistic. By definition, even, video games must adhere to some sense of absurdity. In Uncharted, no matter how realistic and convincing the characters and environments may be, the fact is that Nathan Drake can take a hell of a lot of damage, and is a little too good with every gun known to man. In Call of Duty, if realism is such a coveted aspect of the series, why does your character only bleed out of his eyes, and why is damage rarely permanent? The 'game' part of these games keeps them from being truly realistic, and in turn makes them even less believable. Characters like Link, or even Master Chief, are believable in even the most absurd situations, as the worlds that they belong to don't try to conform to the world that we live in."
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The Case For Surrealism In Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @04:08AM (#37053244)

    Whenever I see people so damn serious about a game - whether it be surreal or otherwise - I know something is wrong.

    Don't you guys have better things to do than worrying if the surrealism in games might bring on some unrealistic expectation or whatnot?

  • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @05:33AM (#37053536)

    And you shouldn't expect them to. "Realistic" games break realism for the sake of gameplay. Not everyone (and dare I say most people) don't want to play a game where you get grazed in the leg with a bullet and your movement becomes entirely awkward, your character develops some sort of infection and then his leg needs to be amputated in the middle of the jungle with charlies everywhere, then being required to finish the rest of the game with one leg. (surely one person will reply to this begging for that)

    It's a game. It's entertainment, and they also have to account for users controlling these characters. Sure games like Call of Duty put in realistic weapons and what have you but it's still not aiming to be a completely realistic combat shooter. In fact I doubt anyone would even think it's trying to be. If you want something "realistic" then I think Arma 2 would be a better choice.

    Movies also try to be "real" but when you see Tom Cruise jumping out of helicopters or Bruce Willis driving a car up a ramp into a helicopter all while the surroundings and story are meant to be more or less realistic, you don't go complaining how unrealistic the movie is. It's a movie. it's entertainment. If you want a true-to-life story then look out your Window and watch the mailman deliver the mail.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:02AM (#37053654) Journal

    Counterstrike wasn't the first. Action Quake II was the first mod I played that went in for realism, and was released about a year before Counterstrike. It was awful. You got shot, and you started to bleed, walked slowly, and had to find a first aid kit to bandage yourself to stop bleeding (and losing health). Even then, you didn't heal, you just stopped being more injured. You had so little ammo that you only got a couple of shots before having to resort to trying to knife your opponents.

    It was the most realistic FPS I'd played - more realistic than Counterstrike a year later - and the least fun.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead