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Who wants reality? Posted on 04/07/2002.

"Realism May Be Taking the Fun Out of Video Games," bemoans an article on the lifelike detail of today's digital playground. It reminded me of one of my first peterme essays, "Interface Lessons From Video Game Design" (dig that older design!), where I blather on about the power of abstraction in encouraging immersion.

3 comments so far. Add a comment.

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This somewhat resembles the evolution of art. How many millennia did man seek to represent life through pictoral accuracy? A slow building process of discovering and building upon perspective, light and shadows, color intensity, etc. culminating in almost lifelike representation. Then...the camera, an exact replica of the image intended...and within a short period of time we start to see a breaking from the "reality" of life (impressionism, expressionism, cubism, etc.) Our art has become abstract as our ability to make it perfectly real has improved. Makes you wonder what awaits on the other side of artificial intelligence...are we going to leave the work to our mechanical counterparts while we pursue a more abstract existence?
Posted by Greg Evans @ 04/08/2002 11:16 AM PST [link to this comment]

Art, for millenia, was divorced from representational realism. The king was painted large, things flew not because they could but because that's where they belonged within the 2 dimensions of the miliue.

The diversion to perspective et al was just a temporary thing, a mere few centuries compared to millenia.
Posted by Eric Scheid @ 04/08/2002 03:50 PM PST [link to this comment]

True, the environment may not have been accurately depicted, but the subject was absolutely intended to be realistic. Whether or not the vision depicted was completely true is not my point, but rather the effort that was made to depict that vision as close to its real form as possible. Once this was attained you can begin to see the divergence into more abstract representations of subject matter.
Posted by Greg Evans @ 04/10/2002 03:58 PM PST [link to this comment]

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