Style over substance: why the art is the driving point of games

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Style over substance: why the art is the driving point of games

The debate of style versus substance is one that has raged in the gaming community almost since Pong debuted on the scene. As games have become increasingly intricate and complex, some hardcore gamers have argued that the substance of the game is betrayed by visuals that are distracting or unnecessary. However, on the other side of the spectrum, the argument has been made that the graphics are the only truly interesting aspect of video games and can be, in and of themselves, works of art.

There are certainly merits to both sides of the debate, and you will find as many opinions on the matter as there are gamers. Regardless, there is a strong argument to be made that graphics and deeply compelling visuals are truly pushing the limits of innovation, and keeping gamers coming back for more.

Much of gaming is iterative
While gamers may not want to admit it, much of the big title gaming is somewhat iterative. Games fall under various genres, and typically, there is not a huge amount of variance between the games in the genre with regard to gameplay or associated plots. This is also arguably why indie games have become increasingly popular over the last decade – indie games often employ totally unique gameplay scenarios and experiences that are more reflective of the human condition or psyche, rather than what would be considered a typical quest or shooting adventure game.

Regardless, the increasing vibrancy and detail of games makes them progressively unique and exciting. When Red Dead Redemption II was released, there was a great amount of focus placed on the level of artistic detail involved in the world building game. Having excellent, cutting-edge graphics that are incredibly realistic has become a selling point for games and a way to set themselves apart from the competition.

Creating excitement and adrenaline
As mentioned above, much of the gameplay that we enjoy today is iterative, and similar games have been played many times before. It is the visual styles and graphics that give games their unique characteristics and charisma. There is a reason we are still playing Pac-Man when many of its contemporary competitors are long forgotten.

Innovative graphics and new visual styles are on the cutting edge of technology because they are largely responsible for generating excitement and creating a sense of risk, danger or tension. The power of graphics is perhaps best witnessed in digital casino games such as blackjack online. When a gambler is playing games at a casino, he or she is surrounded by the lively ambience of a busy casino floor and likely cannot help but experience a rush of excitement and anticipation. Online casinos and digital gaming platforms need to give gamblers the same rush they feel while on a bustling casino floor.

This is a difficult task, but the compelling graphics together with the sound effects and variety of different visual styles create an immersive experience for gamblers. Online casinos such as Mr Green offer gamblers an extensive and varied games library to choose from, so that gamblers can pick and choose and try different games, always keeping the sense of novelty and excitement going.

Looking ahead to the future
It is likely that visuals will become more important to a game’s success in the future. Technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, or AR and VR, are especially notable as they are set to forever change the way we game. Some of the AR and VR visuals are still a bit clunky or unrealistic, and this has made them less popular than their more traditional, console gaming counterparts.

However, the world of AR and VR is really just starting to develop and it is likely that the technology will increase to the point that the user will be unable to distinguish between real life and the visuals portrayed in the VR headset. Other technologies that look set to make a splash on the scene are facial recognition, voice recognition and wearables. Facial and voice recognition will allow gamers to engage with their characters and the action portrayed in the game on a newly intimate level. It will also push graphics to the limits of innovation in potentially creating characters with mutable facial characteristics that can mirror those of the current player.

This increased level of engagement might sound terrifying to you, or it might pique your interest. Regardless, it is worth giving it a try when the technology hits the market.

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