About games and gaming thereof!

Extra Credits: Graphics vs Aesthetics

Since I’m posting more often than once a week now, I figured it’d be okay for me to start devoting posts to links.

A week ago Extra Credits (a show I watch every week) had an episode about graphics and aesthetics. Go ahead and click the link if you haven’t watched it already.

It makes me sad that they made this episode; not because I disagree with it, but because I’ve been planning to make a post about this for at least a month. My planned title was going to be Graphics vs. Visuals, but I basically had all the same points in mind. I feel like they stole my post before I even posted it.

For many years now I’ve heard people preach about how graphics are or aren’t important to the fun you can have with games, and I feel like these people are all missing the point. Shadow of the Colossus has very dated graphics by today’s standards, but the game still looks fantastic. Mass Effect 2 upgraded its graphical technology beyond that of its predecessor, and yet the first Mass Effect was more visually appealing.

Why is that? Well, because having a good art style is more important than having lots pixels and shading effects.

Not that pixels and shading effects aren’t important, but I think the EC team said it best: “Graphics exist to serve aesthetics.”


3 responses

  1. Awesome episode. One of my favorite shows on the escapist, though its a tough call between Extra Credits and Zero Punctuation.

    On topic, I’d say I completely agree with what they said. Chrono Trigger has pretty outdated graphics, but those sprites still look awesome today, because the aesthetics are amazing.

    Off topic, I’m trying out a new theme on my blog, maybe if you have time you can check it out and let me know what you think.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    • krellen

      Actually, that’s on-topic, since we’re talking about aesthetics.

      Anyway, I think I remember your blog previously being an unremarkable white-space thing. If that’s the case, the new design is a vast improvement.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:34 PM

  2. David T.

    I developed this viewpoint several years ago (I don’t remember when, but at least by high school or sometime near there). There are still a few games I’ll get for eye candy, but even they have to be somewhat good (and on sale), like when I got Steam’s sales for Crysis Maximum Edition and Metro 2033. Beautiful, but I wouldn’t pay full price for either.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:11 PM

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