Video game aesthetics

12 October, 2005

games, by pip

via Alice comes a link to Videogame Aesthetics: The Future! by David Hayward, which is an excellent overview of where games have gone, and where they could still go in terms of graphical style and presentation, with some great screenshots of classic games which use a unique style to their benefit.

I regard it as some matter of pride that I’ve played and loved all of these games (the ones which have been released that is, Okami and Shadow of the Colossus are both on my most-wanted list though) except for F.E.A.R. (which I’ve never played) and Mono (which I’ve never even seen before).

In fact, this relates to a post I made back in May where I espoused that stylised games always seem more fun and more enjoyable than their ultra-realism-seeking counterparts. The two main reasons for this seem to be (and David mentions them both in his article) firstly the uncanny valley (which despite what David says, CGI films are capable of suffering from, witness The Polar Express as mentioned in its Wikipedia article and elsewhere on the web) and secondly the application of the uncanny valley principle to the world and the rules that govern it, i.e. the more like “our” world a game seems, the more we expect it to behave like our world, so when it doesn’t it’s reminding us that it’s just a game. Some of the best games (such as Mario 64, The Wind Waker and Ico) are ones which create an entirely self-contained world where our brains aren’t hampered by analogies to the real world and so are able to believe in the game completely.

Anyway, that’s getting off the point slightly. Here’s to good-looking, imaginative game aesthetics. Hurrah!

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in October 2005.