Realistic computer games

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Chlorophile
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A lot of violent video games get a lot of flack for being too aggressive and tasteless but to be honest, most violent video games really aren't that realistic. Killing is often very arcade style and the character's you're killing are rarely realistic.

My question is, as video games become more advanced, more realistic and more immersive, will violent video games still be as fun? Once we've got true virtual reality, will people actually even want increasingly realistic combat mechanics? Would a video game with graphic gore and life-like characters that actually behave like humans, screaming in realistic agony or begging for their lives rather than simply dropping dead and turning into ragdolls actually be entertaining, or would it just be disturbing? Is there a limit for video game realism?
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somemightsay888
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What a great question!

I think once true VR is achieved people will want that next level thrill of killing. I remember when Manhunt and Manhunt 2 released, where they rewrote the rulebook in terms of graphic violence and realism. These days the games hold up well and you can see how things shifted from your typical GTA or FPS "shoot em and kill" without any real conviction to the brutal template Manhunt laid out.

I don't think there's a limit to video game realism, I think now that VR is seriously being invested into, games will get more and more realistic and we'll see another Manhunt scenario; where 1 game comes along and causes waves by taking the violence and realism of games to that next level. But then again, I don't know if such game would cause such a stir; if you know where to look there are real life executions, beheadings, graphic shootings and the like all over the internet. These sites aren't niche or underground either, they're well known and documented on.
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RoyalBlue7
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Realism is more to do with correct physics rather than the correct behaviour. FPS games make use of the heros vs villains notion where we play for an (imaginary) cause rather than just for the entertainment of killing virtual characters. We don't and we won't see any of our victims "screaming in realistic agony or begging for their lives" because they too are fighting for their own cause and we wouldn't feel the thrill if our victims are sore losers. The makers know this.

Anyways in real life battlefields too you don't see soldiers screaming in realistic agony and begging for their lives :lol:
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Catholic_
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There are none.


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BefuddledPenguin
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Whilst realism has a place in some games (The Last of Us wouldn't have had the same impact if the characters were poor quality polygons for example) I still relish the cartoony visuals of Mario or Sonic, or excessive sci-fi imagery like F-Zero. My favourite game of all time is Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door, the art style is hugely influential in my love of the game. I think that there will always be designers who don't want realism, Nintendo seems to actively avoid realism in games. Twilight princess and Metroid Prime came closest and both games are heavily stylised.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by somemightsay888)
What a great question!

I think once true VR is achieved people will want that next level thrill of killing. I remember when Manhunt and Manhunt 2 released, where they rewrote the rulebook in terms of graphic violence and realism. These days the games hold up well and you can see how things shifted from your typical GTA or FPS "shoot em and kill" without any real conviction to the brutal template Manhunt laid out.

I don't think there's a limit to video game realism, I think now that VR is seriously being invested into, games will get more and more realistic and we'll see another Manhunt scenario; where 1 game comes along and causes waves by taking the violence and realism of games to that next level. But then again, I don't know if such game would cause such a stir; if you know where to look there are real life executions, beheadings, graphic shootings and the like all over the internet. These sites aren't niche or underground either, they're well known and documented on.
On your last point, I know that those exist (I've seen some unfortunately) but is that something for the mass market? The 'acceptable' threshold of violence keeps being pushed higher but I can't help but think that there's a limit somewhere. I'm skeptical about the degree to which video games incite violence but I can definitely see there being problems when the level of realism reaches a point where killing someone in a video game very accurately replicates doing it in real life. You might have heard of an upcoming video game called 'Hatred' (warning, seriously disturbing), which appears to be some kind of a mass murder simulator. In terms of graphic realism, it's far from the kind of realism we could expect from true VR but it's already caused an uproar, even inside the gaming community. Don't get me wrong, I'm entirely in favour of VR (can't wait for the consumer model of the Occulus Rift to come out!) but I genuinely have doubts about whether people want more realistic killing. More realistic graphics by all means, but violent video games are appealing because of the adrenalin and competition, not because people actually admire the act.

I'll be interested to see if Hatred sells. I really hope it doesn't to be perfectly honest, I'm absolutely not anti-violence in video games but that game looks completely depraved and utterly without taste.
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uberteknik
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Perhaps this is the next stage in social development and human evolution: that increasingly realistic 3D virtual worlds may replace reality for many by reducing overheads of living to that of breaks for food, water and exercise. A sort of matrix without the power harvesting from human farms?

Extending this concept to an interim stage in space exploration, perhaps some kind of communication method is discovered that allows data to be sent vast distances to control machines in real-time. Humans experience being there without actually leaving this planet.

Of course the psychological danger is that some will find it hard to separate reality from a virtual existence - come to think of it, that already happens on TSR!
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somemightsay888
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
On your last point, I know that those exist (I've seen some unfortunately) but is that something for the mass market? The 'acceptable' threshold of violence keeps being pushed higher but I can't help but think that there's a limit somewhere. I'm skeptical about the degree to which video games incite violence but I can definitely see there being problems when the level of realism reaches a point where killing someone in a video game very accurately replicates doing it in real life. You might have heard of an upcoming video game called 'Hatred' (warning, seriously disturbing), which appears to be some kind of a mass murder simulator. In terms of graphic realism, it's far from the kind of realism we could expect from true VR but it's already caused an uproar, even inside the gaming community. Don't get me wrong, I'm entirely in favour of VR (can't wait for the consumer model of the Occulus Rift to come out!) but I genuinely have doubts about whether people want more realistic killing. More realistic graphics by all means, but violent video games are appealing because of the adrenalin and competition, not because people actually admire the act.

I'll be interested to see if Hatred sells. I really hope it doesn't to be perfectly honest, I'm absolutely not anti-violence in video games but that game looks completely depraved and utterly without taste.
I would say Liveleak is mainstream and has made national news just under a month ago for showing the ISIS beheadings as well as general world news. Unfortunately I have seen Hatred and it is appallingly tasteless. I don't think Hatred has caused uproar because of the violence itself, but the way the object of the game is to do nothing but shock you. It's the act of killing the innocent and civilians within the game too I think has got people riled.

I think the more realistic the killing is in a game, the closer people think they'd get to feeling the adrenaline of doing it in real life. Sick, but true unfortunately. Of course people don't admire the act. But if you aren't doing it in real life, if it's just a game then it's in that grey area. Is it too controversial, is it too much or is it "just a game"? These are the questions that'll be asked. Video game realism in all quarters is being pushed heavily with this generation; The Last of Us, Battlefield etc. It's only a matter of time before developers move on from graphics and "perfect" the content within the game. I don't like it personally and Hatred is everything I hate about video games slapped together and sold. But you know what? The game will sell very well for its relative budget and target market. People will be curious to see just what it is that's caused such an outrage. Some people will love its content, others will hate it but the game will sell.

I think people will want that next level of realism, that something they've never seen or experienced before, as bad as that sounds. Using VR people could take control of a character and just torture another character for hours and hours on end but not like it is now with you staring into a TV screen and hammering buttons; people will BE the character, they'll BE the person torturing the other. This is hypothetical anyway, but definitely possible.
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Chlorophile
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#9
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Perhaps this is the next stage in social development and human evolution: that increasingly realistic 3D virtual worlds may replace reality for many by reducing overheads of living to that of breaks for food, water and exercise. A sort of matrix without the power harvesting from human farms?

Extending this concept to an interim stage in space exploration, perhaps some kind of communication method is discovered that allows data to be sent vast distances to control machines in real-time. Humans experience being there without actually leaving this planet.

Of course the psychological danger is that some will find it hard to separate reality from a virtual existence - come to think of it, that already happens on TSR!
When I saw the Matrix, I always kept thinking that it's demonising something which could be brilliant. It's certainly something really interesting to think about. I absolutely love the immersion that fantasy games like Skyrim can offer and it's stuff like that which really makes me so excited about VR. I just love the concept of "pocket worlds". But of course, making the game/reality divide could be a problem. If we manage to create a VR paradise, what's the point of living in the real world? If you can replicate the natural world perfectly, why live in an imperfect human society when you can live in a utopia of your own creation? I'm very interested in seeing how VR develops. I haven't got a clue of what's going to happen (although I'm sure it won't be my utopian vision, Facebook buying Occulus is probably the first sign of that not happening) but it'll be exciting and controversial for sure.

(Original post by somemightsay888)
I would say Liveleak is mainstream and has made national news just under a month ago for showing the ISIS beheadings as well as general world news. Unfortunately I have seen Hatred and it is appallingly tasteless. I don't think Hatred has caused uproar because of the violence itself, but the way the object of the game is to do nothing but shock you. It's the act of killing the innocent and civilians within the game too I think has got people riled.

I think the more realistic the killing is in a game, the closer people think they'd get to feeling the adrenaline of doing it in real life. Sick, but true unfortunately. Of course people don't admire the act. But if you aren't doing it in real life, if it's just a game then it's in that grey area. Is it too controversial, is it too much or is it "just a game"? These are the questions that'll be asked. Video game realism in all quarters is being pushed heavily with this generation; The Last of Us, Battlefield etc. It's only a matter of time before developers move on from graphics and "perfect" the content within the game. I don't like it personally and Hatred is everything I hate about video games slapped together and sold. But you know what? The game will sell very well for its relative budget and target market. People will be curious to see just what it is that's caused such an outrage. Some people will love its content, others will hate it but the game will sell.

I think people will want that next level of realism, that something they've never seen or experienced before, as bad as that sounds. Using VR people could take control of a character and just torture another character for hours and hours on end but not like it is now with you staring into a TV screen and hammering buttons; people will BE the character, they'll BE the person torturing the other. This is hypothetical anyway, but definitely possible.
A lot of very good points listed there. I really agree with basically everything you've said there. There are so many really excellent games around, and then there's stuff like Hatred which just makes you feel embarrassed to be of the same species as its creators and fan-base. But I'm still not completely convinced that there will be mass demand for ultra-realistic interactive violence. I'd say I've been pretty desensitised to video game violence but even I feel sickened by a game like Hatred (not least actually playing it) and seeing things like executions makes me feel deeply uncomfortable. It's not normal to glorify violence and whilst there will always be people who do, I just find it hard to believe (or maybe it's just my vain hope of inherent human decency) that things like this will be rejected by most people.
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