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LONG BLOG

Ten Rules for Graphics Whores.

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New title is because I didn't feel the previous ones worked.

In response to Jim Sterlin's excellent blog post about graphical hype,* I'm compiling my own ten rules list of graphics whoring (I do hope this hasn't been done already).

* Although I do think Black plays well, I'll hope we just agree to disagree.

And Jim is free to steal this and refine it, if he so choses, to make it a true "Golden Rules" list.

In no particular order, aside from Rule #1:

1. Pretend "Graphics don't matter," is a literal phrase.
Nothing helps a weak argument better than using a strawman to pretend the other side has an even weaker argument. If someone says graphics don't matter, take it to its illogical extreme. He/She must want Atari level graphics to still be around! Or he/she just refuses to acknowledge that these are called video games!

2. Only occasionally reply to damning sales figures.
Crysis did dismal sales. The Wii is kicking ass. The PS2 beat the Gamecube and Xbox. What do you think of those facts? You don't think of them. You can't think of a proper counter (not a true one, just one that will shut them up). So you'll just ignore it until you can think of something.

3. Beauty is in the details, not the art.
The best painters had the best materials, not the talent. If you look carefully at the Renaissance, they had increased art tools and techniques compared to previous centuries. The same applies now. Talent is secondary to the tools.

This is never really spoken, but the subtext is crystal clear.

4. It's not having the best graphics, it's trying to have the best graphics.
After point 2, this is why the PS2 is all right, while the Wii is an abomination. The PS2 was an experiment to create a powerful device. It's not Sony's fault Nintendo and Microsoft had a year to figure out how to top it. Sony gets points for effort. Nintendo abandoned that effort, the generation.

5. Fun is in the polygon count and resolution.
Swinging a sword with the Wiimote, but with last gen graphics? Lame! Pressing a button, but being able to see individual drops of blood spray out? Awesome! Who cares if you can't actually look at it in game, or else you'll get impaled as soon as you stop to admire it? You can just play that area again, and enjoy all those details. And if the gameplay in the more detailed game is broken?

You have no idea what that means. Specs are more important.
(From The-Excel) Anyone who doesn't know what GFLOPS or TFLOPS are aren't even worth spitting at. Your equipment can process 45 trillion of them a second! With numbers that big, who needs commonly understood specs?

This is the real reason Rockstar Presents Table Tennis on the Wii was bad, not the control being considered a letdown, but the fact that all those visual details were lost. Who cared if you could only enjoy them in the replays? You wanted to see the sweat!

6. People, who put down graphics, are philistines.
This isn't the casual gaming audience. They don't know better. This is about the hardcore gamers who refuse to recognize the importance of 50 million polygons, 10,000x10,000 texture resolution (just making those numbers up, BTW), normal mapping, and hyper realistic lighting. Why can't they see those are what make a good game? Why do they insist on this crap about gameplay and design?

7. Even if PC is the best ofr graphics, the 360 and PS3 are acceptable.
Going hand in hand with point 4, but especially helped by these two systems having multi-core processors, half a GB of RAM, and consuming about as much power as a PC. The fact is that even on these two systems, we still get awesome looking games. The Wii isn't being pushed. The fact that 3rd-parties aren't pushing it is irrelevant. Nintendo should be leading the way, as they did in the N64 years, even though third parties didn't take that lead anyway.

8. The Uncanny Valley doesn't exist.
Never, EVER, acknowledge this impediment to photo realism. If something actually stops the push for greater graphics, your life will have lost meaning.

9. Old games are unplayable because of how they look.
Nevermind the excellent art direction of Metal Gear Solid or the still fluid gameplay of Ocarina of Time. You can count the texels on the character models. That's crap! Even 6th gen games hurt your eyes a little. Although Twilight Princess looks pretty good for a Gamecube game. It just magically looks bad on the Wii.

10. People, who put down graphics, are jealous.*
It is physically impossible to have a high graphics system and not be a graphics whore. It is also physically impossible to have the means to get one, but not get it. Therefore, putting down graphics is sour grapes, from those who can't experience it.

*Thanks to user Knives, for reminding me of this.
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About Lord The Night Knightone of us since 6:44 PM on 10.07.2007

I have a Wii and a DS, and my brother has a 360. I don't have anything against the PS3. We just can't afford one yet, but I do want a PSP when I can.