Jimquisition: Photorealistic Sociopathy

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Samantha Burt:

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Anyone who would tell a developer they are full of shit for wanting photo-realistic graphics is somebody that doesn't think games are art.

I'm pretty sure that anyone who thinks photo-realism is a requirement for something to be art has zero grasp on what art is actually.

Sure, but that's not what I said.

If I've misunderstood, I apologise. Your wording seemed to imply that, and I'm struggling to find another interpretation. Would you kindly clarify? (:

:O...

I saw a nipple... Just Sayin...<.<

but honestly this episode didn't do a whole lot... it really just stuck to the obvious...

Lol fucking Crytek and 2K just proving how little they understand about the true potential of the medium. Abe's Oddysee was one of the first games to emotionally effect me and it came out in the mid 90s and was predominately a sprite based super pixelated platformer. I thought the somewhat dated graphics would stop it from being as effective now but upon replaying it and its sequel last year I was proven wrong.

Anoni Mus:

blackrave:
It is fairly simple for me
1.Story
2.Gameplay
3.Visual style
4.Animations
5.Controls
6.Graphics

Putting story over gameplay? Why even play games? Just grab a book or watch a movie since you must love cutscenes.

Yes, I don't get how someone can put story over gameplay, specially considering that story in games mostly suck.

Also, you missed sound and music, pretty important too.

If it makes you feel any better here is my list:

1.Gameplay
2.Visual style
3.Music/Sound
4.Controls
5.Animations
6.Story

Graphics aren't even on my list, because that doesn't even make any sense to me. Any game can look good or bad in any level of graphics, it all depends on how well it was crafted. Something can be poto-realistic but look like shit, and something can look like Mega Man 2 and look sweet. It's all subjective and circumstantial. I also agree with you on the story thing. I often get in arguments with my friend over this because story is his #1 to. I just think if a story is too big or too invasive it distracts from the GAME part of this VIDEO GAME, and would have probably made a better animated movie/book.

But then again all I need is "It's dangerous to go alone, take this!" to get my adrenaline going. That's all the story you need right there.

I agree with the point that graphics do not make a game. If I were to list my all time favorite games, a good chuck of them would be PS1 titles. Many of them, did not have great graphics even at the time, but none of them have good graphics by today's standards. It was the story and the gameplay that sold me on them. Good graphics are nice, but not the only thing that you need.

I was gonna reply to the whole Chick Fil A thing with a long rant, but instead, I'll say this:

I have no problem with Gay Marriage and see no reason why it shouldn't be legal.
I have no problem with anything Dan Cathy said, nor do I care what he does with the money he earns.
Chick Fil A has better food and better service than any other fast-food restaurant out there.
Also, I know there were protestors at some of them last Friday, and at least some of the restaurants were offering them free lemonade, stating that they support Free Speech for the protestors and their President. I approve of this action.

Oh, and before anyone says, I am apologizing for the company:
I couldn't care less what Dan Cathy thinks about gay marriage! But, at least, he stands up for his beliefs. If you disagree, do what you must. Protest. Boycott. Complain. I don't care. That's your right. I'll just go buy a chicken sandwich. Not because I don't support gay marriage. But because I DO support Freedom of Speech!

The Heavy Rain comment was a low blow. Simply due to the fact that it is very difficult to actually get the game published that tests that line for sex and sexual themes without being dragged into the mainstream and being called pornography. At least despite failing it tried to actually be tasteful and tried to push the border for future developers to actually not be afraid to include sex in their game.

I have been listening to people prattle on about graphics since the days of the Atari 2600 and this is just more of the same. Clearly it was The Legend of Zelda's awesome graphics which captivated me and caused me to spend hours exploring Hyrule. Graphics are the extras which add to the game mechanics and should always be thought of as so.

On a related note of inappropriateness, I was cheering Jim on with chants of, "Amen!" and "Preach on Jim!" during the video.

A very good job with this video, Jim. I have to agree. Out of most of the most memorable experiences I can think of, very few were "photo-realistic".

Also, I'm always amazed how many people fail to read between the lines. It's amazing people didn't get that you were trying to mock the Chick-Fil-A debate in that segment.

Nicolaus99:
-insert typical Republican rant here-

Fun fact, everyone....ever wondered how you can tell a Republican from a Democrat or Independent?

Count the number of times they say "liberal".

The Democrat/Independent will use the term rarely at best. But the Republican will spend his entire time arguing that the other guy is secretly an evil liberal shoving his evil liberal agenda down our throats. Even if the person in question is a fellow Republican. See: the 2012 primaries, where each Republican wasted their time trying to prove that their opponents were "secret liberals" in line with the Obama agenda.

Seriously. Try it some time. It really works.

Jimothy Sterling:
A) The last point I made was said entirely to facilitate the "Thank God for me" joke. It's a fairly bog-standard technique called Hypocritical Humor.

B) I'm a centrist.

C) Fuck Chick-Fil-A in its arse with my big gay penis.

I about DIED when I read this post. Thanks for the best laugh I've had in a while, Jim! XD

snowfi6916:

Nicolaus99:
"I think no religious statement has any place in something that isn't a church or a religious topic." - Jim Sterling

Golly gee Jim. Maybe you should go and try to do some more of that actual Journalism you were talking about earlier. Do you even know where Dan Cathy made his statement concerning his personal opinion on gay marriage? Of course not. You're too busy stroking your outrage in defense of your liberal opinions. Here, I've done it for you since you were too busy to bother:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271

Here, I'll even reference some of your fellow liberals:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html

He said it in an interview with "The Baptist Press: News With A Christian Perspective". A relevant place for one to speak his mind on religious opinion? Have some crow to go with that side fat you'll be scooping out and eating. Maybe you can open an episode with you stuffing some Chick Fil A into your maw.

I don't think the outrage about Chick Fil A is about the fact that their CEO (or whatever) is against gay marriage. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The problem is that he stated that he is using the money WE give him to support anti-gay marriage groups. Which pisses people who do support gay marriage and eat at Chick Fil A off, because they don't want their money going to something they don't support.

If you want to give money to those groups, use your own money, not the company money.

No he is not using money that "You gave him". You did not donate money to Dan Cathy or to Chik Fil A. You willingly purchased goods or services from him. This is called commerce. Once you engage in commerce the money is the merchants to do with as he pleases, and the goods are yours to do with as you please. You can no more question what he chooses to do with that money than your employer can question and evaluate your purchases using your weekly paycheck.

You can choose to not do business with this merchant. That is your free choice. But you have no legitimate right to question what he does with his legitimate earnings. Even implying so indicates a level of narcissistic entitlement that makes me weep for the future of our country.

we now return you to our regularly scheduled gaming rant.

Samantha Burt:

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Samantha Burt:

I'm pretty sure that anyone who thinks photo-realism is a requirement for something to be art has zero grasp on what art is actually.

Sure, but that's not what I said.

If I've misunderstood, I apologise. Your wording seemed to imply that, and I'm struggling to find another interpretation. Would you kindly clarify? (:

What I mean is that it's not up to us to decide what artistic style they should use to convey the meaning they intend to convey. If they say they need photorealism then they need it.

Jim managed to touch on both the first game that came to mind when I said "bullshit" to the notion that only through amazing graphics can emotion be conveyed (Final Fantasy 3 (6) ) and something that I've thought for quite a long while now, specifically and exactly as Jim said: the reason older games/less graphically-based games tend to be more engaging is because they don't use all the flashing lights and pretty colors to hold your attention, they have to use other things to engage and hook the audience in...namely: good stories and writing.

I would argue that L.A. Noire PROVES that photorealism does not lead to better gameplay experiences. Team Bondi sunk tons of money into that facial technology so that you could tell if a person was lying in an interrogation, the result looked pretty damn realistic. HOWEVER, it didn't work as a gameplay device. It was too strict--person is avoiding eye contact, they're lying; holding your gaze, they're not. You could have accomplished that with any kind of graphical level. Good looking game that did not follow through on the game part.

Then to list games that work because their simplistic graphics enhance the game...I don't know, Limbo, Bastion, Journey, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Superbrothers, freaking Minecraft...

I think the quest for photo-realism has a place in gaming, but in the end it comes down to what kind of experience a developer wants to create. Just as you say, we'd be far better off if they put more effort into weighing up what elements would convey the emotion they intend, instead of just hoping that graphical fidelity will pull them through. In the case of Crytek, I have to wonder if they won't be satisfied until you can see the fear in an enemy's eyes as you gun them down.
I'm not quite sure the comparison with books is really that apt, though - writing as a craft is completely different to making a game.

Jim really loves FFIX it seems.
Other than that thought I agree with him on every point.

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Samantha Burt:

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Sure, but that's not what I said.

If I've misunderstood, I apologise. Your wording seemed to imply that, and I'm struggling to find another interpretation. Would you kindly clarify? (:

What I mean is that it's not up to us to decide what artistic style they should use to convey the meaning they intend to convey. If they say they need photorealism then they need it.

There's a big difference between "I want photorealism to convey emotions" and "You need photorealism to convey emotions."

Mistilteinn:
If someone wants to see realistic graphics, there are these things called "outside" and "life". One is a massive world map to explore, and the other is probably the longest running MMORPG in history. Maybe if certain developers tried them out outside of their jobs, they'd realize that not everything needs to look 'real' to convey emotion or keep the player invested in the world. Video games are a form of escapism, and real life is, well, real life. Let's try keep them separate, eh?

the loot is crap you get from looting your average person in the street and the respawn point of the hospital bed sucks

Some of my biggest gaming tragedies (often bringing tears to my eyes as I shout the names of the fallen and weep for their deaths) have been in Dwarf Fortress.

I'll let that sink in.

I'm generally pleased as punch to fallow jim like a drone until now. He's funny clever and original.
Jimmy,
Chick Fila is a nothing small ass nobody fast food chain. and you felt the need to shit all over religion because your ambiguously fat gay ass is offended.

I love yah to death Jim, but no one cares about Chick Fila. Chick Fila could be serving children in sandwiches and they still wouldn't matter. Your entitled to your own opinion, and God bless you for having it, but were you just being ironic at the end?

Just to be totally clear, your awesome just stop beating up on religion LOL. Pretty please.

I realize the point of the video and I agree with Jim on most if not all the points he made. However, the thing that got my attention most in this video was the Minecraft reference because the footage he used was from some of my favorite filmmakers!

I like a more cartoony style. Personally the more realistic they try to make games look, the further they slip into the uncanny valley. They look as unsettling as rotoscope animation. Besides, isn't the point of games to escape reality & not be reminded of it?

Yeah, if they want to tug at our heartstrings, maybe they should make character development a top priority & hire a professional writer to work on the story long before they even start working on the game.

Hmm...I think I'll replay Telltale's Back to the Future tomorrow...

To be honest, I thought this point was so stupid it didn't need to be addressed. The person who said it clearly hadn't thought things through. You don't create emotion with graphics. You create it with great writing and storytelling. The ending to RDR's emotional punch wouldn't be diminished just by having more cartoon-like, stylised graphics. Great episode as usual.

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Anyone who would tell a developer they are full of shit for wanting photo-realistic graphics is somebody that doesn't think games are art.

Art managed to not be photorealistic for a very long time, and when photography came around, other art worked on separating from it as much as possible.

Oh, I see what you did thar with the end bit and the religion and the thanking god. Clever.

I agree fully. How 2K even came out with that is beyond me, because some of their games have been the poster child for art design and writing over pure FOTOREALISEM! Look at bioshock, its graphics don't look anywhere near as impressive as they used to, but it's still great. The story's still awesome, and in fact, it still looks great. Sure, in terms of graphical quality, we've moved onto shinier things, but the design is fantastic.

That's another thing people keep forgetting. I can look out my window for a photorealistic city street. I cannot, however, look at a stunning art deco underwater dystopia, with both signs of its former glory, and its decay. I cannot look at towering mountains with ancient burial sites built into the sides of them, and a dragon circling the one of the peaks. I cannot switch my vision to colourful cel-shading, nor to the rough, cartoony, but appealing look of kingdoms of amular/WoW.

Like in film, I consider mimicking real life in a videogame to be a massive waste. Why settle for it when working with a medium that allows you to show more? Make something unique.

And then there's the fact that, seeming as we've never had a photorealistic videogame before, we don't know what our minds will do with such an optical illusion, and the societal issues of what happens when any image can be made realistically. Say, like generating a popular politician's image into a picture of a brothel, or replacing one person seen at a crime with another? But that's a whole other side of the issue to explore.

Hmm... I'm hoping not too many care what Crytek says. These are the idiots that create a game (Crysis) that requires such an advanced piece of hardware that it was its own running joke for a while.

And I was emotionally attached to many characters from the SNES era of games. The only one I'll disagree with is Heavy Rain... I got hooked into that one, but not because of graphics, just because I thought the writing and the scenario was provoking. They made players have to make choices that had significant consequences that you couldn't predict

What disturbs me is that as soon as devs catch wind that customers want to be able to emotionally invest in their games they immediately make up this bullshit excuse that they can't make emotionally rich games because the graphics technology hasn't developed far enough. Ignoring for a moment decades of emotionally rich games that supported themselves without photorealistic graphics or the graphical plateau that this generation's consoles have reached, this is like someone saying that they can only write an emotionally rich novel once the latest typewriter has come out, and then using the same excuse once they got said typewriter. Now that's just insane, you can't blame your own shortcomings as an artist on the current level of graphical technology when ten years ago Goichi Suda and Team Silent managed to (probably) cause suicide pacts by mining the technology they had for what it was worth.
If Neon Genesis Evangelion can send me into depression with a few crappy cells, if Silent Hill 2 can make me shit myself with PS2 graphics, if Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy can make me laugh with just INK ON A PAGE then (THEN send me into depression) I'm pretty sure game devs can make do with the graphics that they have and stop being such self-entitled little pussies.

[quote="Jimothy Sterling" post="6.384276.15235416C) Fuck Chick-Fil-A in its arse with my big gay penis.[/quote]

*Dresses up as chick-fi-a worker*.

MhhhhhmmMMMMMMMmmmmm

The idea that we need more realistic graphics in order to make 'better' or more emotionally moving games has been, to me, the most distressing attitude in game making for more than a decade. Don't get me wrong. Graphics are important, and innovating in visuals is a necessary thing for the games industry. But it takes far more than pretty graphics to make a good game. Visuals are just one ingredient in the formula.

If done right, any game can emotionally move a person. Photo realism or top-notch graphics are a tool, not an end. Older games may not have had more than a character sprite and occasional character portrait to work with in graphically depicting their characters, but there are many games from my youth that have moved me far more than some newer games. That's not to say that there aren't newer games with fancy, top-of-the-line graphics that have similar emotional resonance. But they have that effect not because of their graphics, but because of how they presented their subject matter as a whole. Writing, music, gameplay and everything else that goes into making a video game are as important as graphics will ever be.

Many times, great art can arise where an artist has to struggle against their limitations. The same can be said for video games. The tools available do not dictate the quality of the game or what kind of emotional resonance it will have on it's player. It's how the developer uses the tools that does so. I hope more game developers figure this out so that the industry can quit focusing all of it's attention on the old graphical arms race and put some of those resources into making better overall games.

Alterego-X:
I'll just leave this there from the previous topic on that issue:

Alterego-X:
I think the quote was misconstructed as "we" won't care about games until they are photorealistic, while it was intended to talk about expanding the market. "We" might love abstract games until our face is blue, but that won't magically make them more accepted.

All the counterexamples about non-photorealistic emotional things are either tiny niches, or seen as childish.

There is western animation for children, and anime for otaku.
Garfield Comic strips in newspapers, and Superhero comics for nerds.
Cartoonish party games for casuals, and arthouse indie games for hardcore gamers.

Paintings themselves are made by and for conisseours, while the rest of us couldn't tell a Van Gogh from a Hitler. As soon as we invented photography, ordinary people started to use that everywhere from portraits to landscapes, simply becase photorealistic is seen as superior.

So yes, I could actually agree with him, that if gaming wants to be recognized in the mainstream as an art form, it needs photorealistic dramas, romances, epics, and mysteries, not even more 2D platformers that look like expressionist paintings.

I'm not saying that pursuing photrealism is a GOOD THING for gaming as an art form, or that any of these things that the people above me are wrong.

Yes, minimalistic games can be expressive, animated films can make us cry, it's all about technique, etc.

But does the public see it that way, too? The people who sneer at the omnopoteia of comic books, and at the "bug-eyed" anime characters? Because that's what a studio cares about. 2K couldn't give a shit about the artistic merit of Braid and Bioshock, if CoD sells more, and that is what will make more people to be more invested in gaming.

And for the normal people that we call "casual gamers", this might very well be the way to connect them to gaming beyond flashy childish party games.

Given how they prefer live action entertainment over books, animation, and every other medium, it very well might be true that more identifiable facial expressions are a part of the Lowest Common Denominator for them.

Edit: Ignore that. Apparently the quote button is at the TOP of the post now >.> what the hell.

The message I took away was from this Jimquisition was that good graphics are not required to convey emotions. I don't know if anyone is going to disagree with this, even the 2K guy who made the statement.

I don't think good graphics detract from conveying emotions either though, by the same token. Games that come to mind are Silent Hill, Dragon Age, or Oblivion. They're going for the realistic look in these games, but they couldn't quite get it, and the result is the dead-eye syndrome that affects games to this day. Assuming they could perfectly tailor a face to a human's when a loved one dies or they fall in love or something, that'd be nice. Graphics are certainly not a crutch or a stand-in for story, but done well I think a game with realistic graphics would trump base graphics trying to convey the same scenario.

Could someone tell me what the name of game we briefly see from 2:20 to 2:25 is? I can't quite make out what Jim says...

Denamic:

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What I mean is that it's not up to us to decide what artistic style they should use to convey the meaning they intend to convey. If they say they need photorealism then they need it.

There's a big difference between "I want photorealism to convey emotions" and "You need photorealism to convey emotions."

My view is that the gaming industry needs photo-realism as a stylistic choice open to developers. Also, a corollary of this is that this ability also implies that any graphical effect imaginable can be achieved.

"Recreating a Mission Impossible experience in gaming is easy; recreating emotions in Brokeback Mountain is going to be tough, or at least very sensitive in this country... it will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies," he said. "Until games are photorealistic, it'll be very hard to open up to new genres. We can really only focus on action and shooter titles; those are suitable for consoles now."

He continued, "To dramatically change the industry to where we can insert a whole range of emotions, I feel it will only happen when we reach the point that games are photorealistic; then we will have reached an endpoint and that might be the final console."

Is what the 2K actually guy said and I mostly agree with him apart from the final console bit.

I know that the escapist community is a bit reactionary and prefers to go from the headline rather than read the story, but jim is no better here. His faux reactionary "look at me" take on things has sunk to a new low. Yet, another rant about an opinion that doesn't actually exist that we can all agree with? Amazing Jim, truly amazing - really pushing the envelope this time.

CriticKitten:

Nicolaus99:
-insert typical Republican rant here-

Fun fact, everyone....ever wondered how you can tell a Republican from a Democrat or Independent?

Count the number of times they say "liberal".

The Democrat/Independent will use the term rarely at best. But the Republican will spend his entire time arguing that the other guy is secretly an evil liberal shoving his evil liberal agenda down our throats. Even if the person in question is a fellow Republican. See: the 2012 primaries, where each Republican wasted their time trying to prove that their opponents were "secret liberals" in line with the Obama agenda.

Seriously. Try it some time. It really works.

Facts must make you uncomfortable. A man goes to a religious publication, makes a religious statement there and you get butt hurt over it. Then Jim rags on him using self hypocritical humor which is kind of like talking sh_t while being subtly supportive, yet denying being supportive.

If you want to ID Democrats, Google up how many times the media says "Right Wing" or "Conservative" or "Republican" but never "Left Wing" or "Liberal" or "Democrat" or how when a Democrat is caught in some scandal they conveniently refrain from identifying their party affiliation; the latter has been dubbed the "Name That Party Game". The work has been done for you, watch dogs word count every single transcript. All the above is demonstrably true if you can bear to remove your blinders. Hey, tell us again how Bill Clinton was the victim of a vast right wing conspiracy to frame him for infidelity and lying under oath.

Once again I found myself agreeing with Jim... IT'S THE SEVENTH SIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quality of graphics dosen't equal quality of game.

A solid gold piece of shit is still a piece of shit!

image

But a diamond in the rough is STILL a diamond.

image

Nicolaus99:
-insert Republican rant here-

Aw, good attempt, bro.

But I'm a registered independent who has voted for both parties at some time or another. Whoops. Can't dismiss my opinion as just another radical liberal, I guess....unless you want to prove my original post true by spending the next several posts arguing about how I'm secretly an evil liberal with an evil liberal agenda. You should've taken Admiral Ackbar's advice, dear boy, and bowed out when you had the chance. Now you've started a political debate and have to somehow prove that my opinion is wrong (pro-tip: opinions generally cannot be wrong) without pointing out that I'm a dirty evil liberal, otherwise you've successfully proven my original point and thus refuted your own argument.

Feel free to try again, though. It always amuses me when someone tries to instantaneously dismiss another man's opinion by pointing to their political leanings, but when they find themselves on the defensive, that same guy will point out that every man has a right to an opinion.

Guess what: just as the Chick-Fil-A guy has a right to his opinion, Jim has a right to his opinion too. Don't like it? Too bad, the argument applies both ways. Find somewhere else to troll.

I agree, as I am playing Secret of Mana and can't wait to play Secret of Evermore again right after I beat SOM again, I can't help but to wonder why I don't have this attachment to any current gen games.

I came to a half ass, probably wrong conclusion but here it is. This generation has been great and terrible, we have seen great games and terrible business practices. So if the games are so great (and they are), why do none of them make me smile like some SNES games, mostly from Squaresoft? I think it's that current gen games are great but only the first time through. In 20 years I doubt I will be playing any current gen game.

So yeah, pretty graphics aren't everything.

About the Chick-Fil-A thing. I think it's the homosexual side that is being pushy but I don't have a dog in this fight. I may not be seeing the whole picture because I have little interest in following it but what little I have seen makes the homosexual crowd look overly aggressive.

You know what I find amazing? Just how quickly the homosexual movement has grown. It's like one day it shows up everywhere and people won't shut up about it. The same people who didn't give two shits about it a week earlier. I think some people are tools for those pushing this movement.

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