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metagamer

thoughts, provocations, insights, and introspection on games, gaming, and we the gamers.

Author: aspekx

What makes graphics old school or new school for you?

Posted by aspekx Monday September 12 2011 at 11:44AM
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this is not going to be my main post for the week, but a question arose for me recently while posting a response to an article on a game i enjoy. there were a few people who were complaining about the graphics being 'old school' or in particular 'outdated'.

at first i wondered about their graphics settings or hard/software. but then it dawned on me, what are they seeing that i do not.

now i am not implying that its a negative or even a positive thing to see something that others do not. i actuallly mean the question quite literally: what are they seeing.

in other words, what lines or curves are giving them a signal psychologically that informs their brain: this is old/outdated? now, its obvious that personal taste is going on here, but beneath that i suppose i am wondering what the cues are for determining that a game has great graphics or outdated ones.

clearly, the difference between 32bit Final Fantasy and FFXIV (or even XI) is tremendous. at this point the gap is so large that the overwhelming portion of the population is going to socially experience the same response.

in part because there is the social memory of the game having been around so long. and in part because social influence helps us all agree upon certain basic standards of beauty. as you can tell i am *not* a Platonist when it comes to such things, ie., i do not believe that there is something in the universe that's called Beauty which exists in and of itself. beauty is a construct based upon context and by context i mean universal context.

so now, have you ever considered what aspects of a game make you think that the graphics are old school or even outdated? what curves or lines tell you that you are looking at something old or something that is not beautiful in the gaming realm? is it instead the hue and tone of the colors?

i would love to hear some response on this as it strikes me as a potentially interesting conversation to be had.