What does realism in games mean to you?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by legendofphil, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. legendofphil

    legendofphil Phil no Densetsu

    Nov 19, 2002
    I am currently writing my dissertation for university about realism in video games and peoples perceptions of it.
    Part of this includes asking performing an experiment, this is mine.
    The question that I am asking you is, what does video game realism mean to you?
    Any input with be much appreciated.
  2. bobingabout

    bobingabout Newbie

    Jul 23, 2005
    Depends on the type of game i'm playing, but, in some cases, like a FPS, it means a lot to see more realistic people in the game.
  3. ZenZero

    ZenZero GBATEMP's regular arse.

    Mar 12, 2008
    in my opinion - realism is great - but if it gets 100% realistic then you are wasting your time.

    if you want a realistic driving sim then don't bother - just buy a car or go go-karting.

    if you want a realistic FPS - join the army, or go paintballing.

    99.9999% realistic = great
    100% realistic = waste of money.
  4. da_head

    da_head A dying dream..

    Apr 7, 2008
    Toronto, Canader!
    yeah that make's sense [/sarcasm]

    realism (aka graphics?) is an important part of games to me. however, it isn't anything (hence y i have a ds instead of a psp).
  5. layzieyez

    layzieyez GBAtemp Fan

    Jun 24, 2007
    United States
    To me, some game genres are boring because of the level of realism. Like some of the endurance races in the Gran Turismo series is just too much. It stops feeling like a "game" and that you're having "fun" the closer it begins to resemble "work".
  6. UltraMagnus

    UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

    Aug 2, 2007
    It depends on the genre really,

    for games putting you into situations that you are unlikely to ever encounter (such as first person shooters or combat flight simulators) then realism can be good and extremely fun, although, only to an extent. for instance realistic damage in a FPS adds wanted realism, having to walk for 2 hours only to be shot within 30 seconds is rather more unwanted realism!

    sometimes though you really don't want realism, such as in RPG games. because a RPG based around real life would be about as boring as a desk job.... literally!
  7. legendofphil

    legendofphil Phil no Densetsu

    Nov 19, 2002
    If I said to you realism what do you think of?
    Any type of game or a specific game maybe?
  8. TrolleyDave

    TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

    Former Staff
    Jan 1, 2007
    Wales, UK
    Most modern driving simulation type games, like Gran Turismo or Colin McCrae Rally.
  9. ENDscape

    ENDscape REBORN! I will post with my Dying Will!!!

    Dec 14, 2007
    Sims game??
  10. UltraMagnus

    UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

    Aug 2, 2007

    there is graphics for a start, how realistic the players look, how realistic the guts look when you blow someone to smithereens with a rocket launcher etc.

    but also realism with how guns work, having to burst fire, how long it takes to reload. and location based damage is a often overlooked important realism feature, such as slowing down when you are shot in the leg.

    flight combat games are similar too, although location based damage is far more complicated, LOMAC (lock on: modern air combat) comes to mind, even with its age it is extremely realistic with how missile hits will take out various systems such as rudder, radar, flaps, landing gear (important!), ailerons, engines, etc

    A lot of games these days seem to strive towards having graphical realism whilst the gameplay and physics is very much hollywood realism.
  11. Daihatsuboy

    Daihatsuboy Advanced Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    United States
    "Realism" in gaming to me defines how natural everything looks or how real the graphics are compared to real objects as well as the amount of physics the game.

    For example, a game may have graphics that are very real but when people need to get shot 100x in the head to die, that isn't very realistic at all now, is it?
  12. Pimpmynintendo

    Pimpmynintendo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 18, 2008
    United States
    IMHO people play games for two reasons.
    1. Because of how real they are they play games to get away from realism, to immerse themselves in something unreal.
    2. Because they could never do what they are playing without getting into trouble so they play games to fill that void.(like racing fast cars)
  13. Forstride

    Forstride The rudder moves when I turn the wheel

    May 6, 2008
    United States
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It doesn't mean a thing to me. Also, Pimpmynintendo, I agree with those. I love playing Animal Crossing to get away from the negatives of real life, and into the positives of my town (Even though it can be a VERY frustrating game at some points). My grandparents think nothing good of video games...Maybe I should explain this thought to them so they stop thinking that (Even though they love Wii Sports).
  14. Devante

    Devante Crescent fresh at best.

    Nov 29, 2002
    United States
    People play video games for two reasons.

    1) To realize fantasies that they would not be able to live out otherwise.
    2) To distract themselves from the mundane or troublesome lives they may lead (which includes the fact that we'll all die someday).

    I think realism in video games has a lot in common with realism in AI/robotics.
    There's a "buzz phrase" now called the Uncanny Valley.

    It means if a robot is almost lifelike, we accept it and sympathize with it as a lesser being.
    However, if it is completely lifelike, we are afraid of it and do not want to associate with it.

    The same idea applies to video games to me.
    To the guy above that said 99.9 percent is OK... I understand what you're trying to say.

    A videogame is supposed to be about experiencing things we'd never be able to do in real life.
    People play a videogame for the same reason they read a book or watch a movie; escape.

    How can you escape from real life if the medium you're utilizing reminds you completely of real life?
  15. .TakaM

    .TakaM .II

    Oct 8, 2004
    New Zealand
  16. Edgedancer

    Edgedancer Director of Moon based operations

    Oct 2, 2006
    This is definately realism in its most simply explanation. A world of brown... and possibly grey.
  17. Panzer Tacticer

    Panzer Tacticer veteran human

    Apr 13, 2008
    Right Here
    Realism is like sugar, none is just as bad as too much.

    Then again, it depends on the game.

    In shooters near photo grade or television grade visual imagery is nice (if your machine can run it), but considering you can stupidly bunny hop all over the place shooting the crap out of everything in sight in typical arcade style, 'realism' rapidly becomes a pointless argument. Thus, the 'visual' depiction might be totally disconnected with the actual 'realism' of the experience.

    Now maybe if your 'player' could only cary ONE main weapon and maybe a knife and pistol like in reality it might increase the level of credible 'realism'. But the second you can swap out a dozen weapons, well arguing a game's 'realism' at that point becomes moronic. That and you can't carry endless ammo. Really it's true I know [​IMG] (I've been in the army).

    Arguing realism in a fantasy game is kinda silly. Orcs and elves and dwarfs and monsters and demons and magic spells, well they don't exist (sorry it's also true hehe). So getting in a snit over the accuracy of a sword swing seems a pointless exercise in the process.

    I've played wargames that basically shot themselves in the head over 'realism'. You get a game that tries sooooo hard to be realistic, that it's as fan as actually participating in a real war (they aren't fun). So eventually the game has to call it quits on the level of 'realism' in order to make it a game, and not work.

    I think personally, some mistake 'detail' level for 'realism' level in some cases. Detail is neat if it doesn't intrude to heavily on the fun factor. The second the game looks like you wouldn't want to beta test it unless you were paid, it likely needs to be completely redesigned.
  18. Hillsy_

    Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    I think it is the boundary of what can be called entertainment and what can be made realistic according to a video game.
  19. quim69

    quim69 GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 26, 2008
    Netherlands Antilles
    It means the absolute ruination of games.

    Ever since 1997 it's all we seem to hear about. Look at the most fun games available, 99% of them aren't realistic in any way, shape or form. (mario, mario kart etc).

    If I want realism I go outside and enjoy the realism. Games should be about fantasy and imagination - about pure escapist fun.

    Realistic sports games are the most useless of all imo - I mean virtually anyone can go out and play an incredibly realistic game of football or darts.

    Agree with the people above pointing out the boring, drab grey/browness of most games since "realism" has been popular with the sheeple.
  20. EmperorOfCanada

    EmperorOfCanada GBAtemp Maniac

    Aug 4, 2008
    To me there are various meanings to the term, depending on the situation or type of game.

    1) Realism in graphics. Is not really important unless is game is trying to make it look real. Games with cartoony graphics can be reallly fun, but usually when they try to make the graphics realistic, if they fail it is just distracting because you arent noticing the positives you are noticing the negatives.

    2) Realism in AI. Games are getting better at this which is good because I find stupid or unrealistic AI kind of a let down in games. Its hard to explain but when a game goes to either extreme, too easy or too difficult I find it annoying. AI in games shouldnt be dumb enough to walk into your line of fine, but they shouldnt be 'smart' enough to headshot you 100% of the time either. (or when the computer 'cheats' and by this i mean just does things very cheap)

    3) Realism in plot. Probably the least important to me because I dont care if a plot is 'realistic' in the sense that it is like life. If it is believable and creative and intelligent, then that is more important.