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Distracted by pretty graphics

Leigh Alexander's recent article made me notice something unfortunate about the way I play modern games: The graphics, or promise there of, distract me from just enjoying and losing myself in the game. I'm currently playing through Crysis 2, and every time I walk through an area, I always feel a little "soak anxiety." Let me explain: I always ask myself in my head, "Did I take the time to really appreciate all the beautiful graphics? No, let's look around just a bit more and really soak it all in!" At its worst, this happens during fire fights, where I should really be focusing on the battle.rather than admiring how the trees sway or how the concrete crumbles when you shoot at it.

I should say that I'm a graduate student studying computer graphics, so I probably concern myself more with a game's technical merits than your average gamer. And it kinda sucks. I suppose game developers feel a similar anxiety when playing through games. Instead of just enjoying a game, they inevitably start wondering, "Oh how did they do this?" or "I heard this game was amazing - I should really take some time to see what the fuss is about."

I suppose the only remedy is to just stop myself when I start thinking about either 1) appreciating all the graphical beauty the game has to offer, or 2) how they pulled off all that stuff. But do you guys notice yourselves doing this, and does it prevent you from enjoying games?
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About stevesanone of us since 11:25 PM on 02.22.2008