The Most Commonly Used Phrase
I’ve listened to a few podcasts where people end up talking about their childhood and what video games they played then, and they’ve all inevitably said the same thing at one time or another, which I myself was also responsible for saying and I’m sure you were too:
“Graphics will never be better than this.”
Whether it was the first time you saw the N64 compared to the Genesis or the Dreamcast or the Gamecube or the PS1 and the first Xbox, we have all-at one time-independently said this phrase, and I guarantee you it’s happened during every generation. I know I’ve said it for a fact multiple times to witnessing multiple consoles updated visuals. It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone, I mean to it’s not unusual to say this. Sorry. Apparently got Tom Jones on the brain today. What’s funny is though we make this statement, and graphics do inevitably become better, there’s some games we look back at-games we may have stated as having the “best graphics I’ve ever seen”-and now instead say “wow, this REALLY holds up” meaning that at one point it was amazing looking and now it just holds its own compared to those today. I find this a bit funny. I also find the fact that at some point in the future, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were the very near future at that, we’re going to say this statement again…and it’s going to be true.
There’s a ceiling to be met, guys. You can only advance something so much to the nth degree. Eventually technology will reach its peak for making a game look as good as it can, probably in the culmination of actual virtual reality. I am only stating this for those who haven’t read my work before but I do not give one iota of a shit to how something looks. I’ll launch something, say “Wow, impressive” and within 15 minutes I don’t care. It’s great they can make things look so good and they’re talented artists and I appreciate the effort but after the game is over I don’t look back and go, “Man that looked awesome”. I look back and go, “Man that was fun.” Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure we all only cared about fun at one point too, but I don’t want to go into my annoyance with hypercritical people right now so I won’t. My point is this. While I may have said “graphics will never be better than this” in my earlier gaming life, I haven’t said in ages and haven’t cared about graphics since probably the gamecube days. Why?
Because the more you see something becoming upgraded, the more conditioned you are to seeing those upgrades continue, thus taking away any impact when you see them because you were expecting them. The last time I said this phrase was when I played the first 25 minutes or so of Resident Evil 0 (before realizing that I liked having fun) and was very impressed by it, and honestly, as I said in my Xbox None article, if my entire reasoning for upgrade to a new console is because it looks nicer, that’s ridiculous. My television isn’t HD and it’s from 2008. I don’t care. I don’t watch Blu-Rays. I don’t care. I’m not dropping 500-1500 dollars (depending on the product) simply because something looks clearer than it did before because my eyesight doesn’t suck and I don’t need to. It’s a waste of money. I’ll get an Xbox One when there’s another reason. A better reason. A reason beyond “hey this port of this old 360 game looks good!”. Not to mention that I don’t see any difference anyway, and as from HD, it makes everything look like a spanish soap opera and that’s just silly. I don’t need to see peoples pores, I don’t even look at my own pores.
Gaming seems to be broken down into 2 things; visuals and story. If one of these two things fails to deliver on our overhyped desires, then we deem it a failure. That’s ludicrous. Those things may be important to people, I’ll grant them that-they aren’t to me, not in gaming anyway-but to say it ruins the entire product is ridiculous. The product is more than just how it looks, or how good a story is. What ruins a product is if every aspect, or more than enough, fails to deliver. If it’s boring, not fun, doesn’t play well AND looks bad and has a shitty story too, THEN it’s reasonable to deem it a failure, sure. But two fucking things? Are you KIDDING me? There’s stuff out there that has semi decent graphics or just an ok story that are awesome, and didn’t fail. Unless you’re a stylized game like Minecraft, you have no leg to stand on it seems. Have we become so conditioned to desire perfection that we now consider mediocrity failure? That’s sad. Plain and simple.
I’m really tired of this belief that if something doesn’t look brand spankin new and phenomenal then it isn’t worth a hoot.
I’m really tired of this idea that if something doesn’t wow us with its visuals then we shouldn’t give it the time of day.
I’m tired of this reasoning that a game is only good if it looks good.
I’m tired of graphics.
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