Debate:Are video games getting better or worse as graphics, sound, and gameplay complexity improve?

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I personally think that games are getting worse as they improve. I was playing Star Wars Republic Commando on my friend's Xbox. And that thing was so hard, it wasn't even like a fun challenge. You had to walk around as a clone trooper using one joystick and with the other you had to aim the clone troopers gun. This sort of gameplay coupled with a first person view of the game (rather than just an objective which I perfer most of the time) made the game nearly impossible. I found similar gameplay on Halo, although that seemed slightly easier.

Double Edge

Pornographic images? Apparently someone has never played "Custer's Revenge."--Elamdri 12:26, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

Dude Custer's revenge, the graphics were so dated, you were looking at pixesl, woo woo. I've never played it but c'mon. Hengineer 09:53, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
There are some Japanese video games that are basically rape simulators.Jaques 21:11, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
And they also gave us Boong-Ga Boong-Ga... --Jeremiah4-22 10:03, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
Graphics isn't the limiting factor for porn in games. Graphics help a bit, true, but there is so much that could be achieved with plotline, dialog and text. The only reason for the rise in sexual games is that there is now a great enough demand for them to be profitable. - BornAgainBrit.

They get worse because the developer is forgetting why we geeks play video games in the first place. The complexity contributed to the world of gaming is nice, but it's removing from the central core of what gaming is all about. Most of us play video games as a way to excape reality and fit ourselves into another world, to control what goes on. As games become more complex, it's coming to a point where we are just moving a pretty picture. Sure it looks nice, but the quality of the games begin to lack. User:Dfairlyxed13:Dfairlyxed13

Geeks are a niche market. Loyalty is nice, but at the end of the day, the geeks will till be there anyway. Anything that they can do to expand their base, they'll do.

In a word, repetitive. Back in the earlier days of gaming, production costs were low. Anyone could make a half-decent game as a hobby, and producing even a big title was possible with a team of ten full-time developers on a budget of a few hundred pounds to a few tens of thousand at most. But with the fancy graphics demands now, making a commercially successful game is expensive - it takes voice actors, and CG experts, sound artists, writers, all kinds of specialists in different fields. Hundreds of them. Then the marketing - with the competition for shelf space, it needs major contacts and advertising. It all comes up to a budget of millions. Because of this very high production cost, there is much less innovation. What publisher or developer would risk investing that much money in something that they were not confdent would succeed? So we are not in the age of sequals and franchises, and of very tight genre-typing. Nothing new is tried, its too expensive to risk. Just a lot more of the same. The situation could be compared with the effect of the Hollywood blockbuster on movies, where the demand for special effects and marketing raised production costs to the point where no studio would invest large amounts of capital in something that hadsn't been shown to be profitable already. - BornAgainBrit. I feel that it is not the graphics or the story line that makes recent games worse, but merely the overall rise in complexition of the controls. I believe that this takes away from the main storyline. However Halo 3 is excellent.--JonL 20:05, 9 October 2007 (EDT)

I'd have to say "worse." Games used to be about the games, not the graphics and special effects. When you concentrate on such things, the games lack quality, and this has shown. Gone are the days of games like "Police Quest," "Adventure" (Crowther/Woods), "Zork," "ZZT," and "Rogue" (Toy/Lane). Those games, though having little or no graphics, had great stories and great programming, and were often very replayable. Another great thing about older games is the "ma-and-pa" feel of a game being designed by one or a few people, often who become visible and well-known due to their games. The same thing can even be said about certain smaller companies such as Nullsoft (original developers of Winamp) and Netscape, which had the same "ma-and-pa" feel prior to being bought by AOL/Time Warner. Today's games are bureaucratic messes designed over long periods of time by major corporations. --danq 21:58, 3 December 2007 (EST)

As time goes on, games have gotten less and less difficult and more focused on fancy explosions and whatnot. To prove my point about difficulty, I strongly suggest you go play Super Ghouls and Goblins. Barikada 21:31, 10 March 2008 (EDT)

I think as a whole that video games are getting worse, although there are still some great ones like Dead Space, Bioshock, Halo, etc. For me, old games had a certain "charm" to them; they were simpler programs and yet the game was more complicated for the most part. The Marathon series, made in the 1990's, is a perfect example. It beats COD any day.


Yes! Games are getting better. Games have recently become whole new worlds capable of an insane level of intricate awesomeness. Let's give some examples; I own a PC and 360 and frequently play both (except when the 360's out for repairs, like now. Don't snicker, Wii owners.) Now, as for the new possibilities available to game developers, I've got 4 really good examples. First off is Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Oblivion has a fully realized, 16 square mile world with an intricate system of quests, a functioning legal system (albeit a bit rudimentary and arbitrary), and a whole host of options. Really want that shiny new elven sword but can't afford it? 5 fingers discount, if you happen to have the skill and be willing to risk the punishments of being caught. But then there are two other genre defining games, that move gaming from entertainment to grand story-telling. Next is Bioshock. In Bioshock, you crash-land in the middle of an underwater city named Rapture, where "Where the artist will not fear the censor, and the scientist will not be constrained by petty morality." And if that made you shudder, good - because Rapture has pretty much literally gone to hell. The rest of the game is spent discovering who you are, what happened to Rapture, and who a whole cast of characters were before Rapture's descent into chaos. And all of this is done while repeatedly forcing you into moral dilemmas and making you question the nature of being human. Third on my must-play list is Portal. Yes, the cake is a lie. An deceptively simple-looking puzzle game with a great soundtrack, and the best plot with 3 characters. Fourth on my list is a game I've just recently been playing, that takes huge advantage of new graphics and sound technologies. Audiosurf is available on Steam for $10 - I have no idea if it's sold elsewhere. Anyways, it lets you choose a song and creates a rhythm game from that song - all the parts of the level are generated from the song's beats. It's addictive, fun, cheap and easy to learn. Whoah. Wrote a lot without meaning to. Sorry. Time to start wrapping up: Newer graphics and sound technologies are unlocking whole new possibilities. Games can tell complex, epic stories, or allow you to do whatever you want. They can adjust themselves completely to your tastes, or they can let you play against a friend whenever, wherever. And all of this is good. But shineyz are hardly a replacement for good old ingenuity.--Reasonless 11:59, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

Of course the learning edge is going to be hard to adjust to, but once you're up there playing with the big boys, a whole new level of play emerges. Double Edge, you seem not to be the biggest Halo player, so I'm guessing you can't tell me what "superjumps", "sweepsticking", and "track-shooting" are. Scratching the surface, of course there doesn't seem to be too much complexity. But by utilizing existing features, a whole new level of complexity emerges. --Hojimachongtalk 11:51, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

Reply I was not complaining about the lack of compexity in Halo. I was rather complaining about the incredibly hard and unnessiarily complecated gameplay.

Improved graphics and sound combined with greater computing power are making possible games that were inconceivable 10 years ago. Right now I have "Medieval 2: Total War" loaded up on my PC. The battle graphics are absolutely incredible; it is almost like a window into history. And while "twitch" games may be harder with the additional controls to master, I think they're still a lot better and will only continue to improve.--Dave3172 12:38, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

Better. The games are harder, but your skill evolves over time, and the greater substance makes the game infinitely more pleasurable. --Hacker(Write some code) 14:02, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

Games are definitely getting better. At least for me. Personally, I think that the first games where made to have fun, and to just be "somewhere else". The games these days certainly aren't lacking in that. =D And I also agree with Hacker on his/her point as well - what is easily won doesn't give the same satisfaction as what takes work (or something to that effect). TaintedInnocence 23:06, 3 March 2008 (EST)

Better Games are definitely getting better as technology increases. I will give an example, and a response to an the first comment on this page. Look at the Wii, games are requiring more skill and at the same time are easier to pick up. In response to the first comment on this page, games are requiring more and more hand-eye coordination. Just because its harder doesn't mean its worse. In the past, games were easy three button affiars. Now, playing a game trains your brain and hands to work together, and you forced to think more and learn more in order to beat a game. In Halo, the best players are the smartest, not always the fastest. Saksjn 09:30, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Games are definitely getting better. I play sports games, and I've found it pretty obvious that ESPN College Hoops 2K5 for my PS2 is far better than March Madness 2001 for my PS1. JY23 20:36, 10 February 2009 (EST)

No Opinion

I don't necessarily think the graphics have anything to do with the games. I've seen some horrible games come out despite new amazing graphics, and yet I've also seen horrible games in days gone past (E.T. for Atari anyone?). Games like FarCry are amazing, with superb gameplay and non-linear methods (even though the storyline is linear), yet have awesome graphics. That being said I've also run across games like Call of Duty, which are pretty good, really can be frustrating at times due to the nature of the "enemy" AI's. It's frustrating clearing a building out only to have a new enemy "bot" spawn directly behind me (United Offensive). Graphics can only go so far in adding value. The final touches HAVE to be in the gameplay for the game to really stick. Hengineer 10:00, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree, I think that the problem with improved graphics means that these games can take over a person's life as in many cases, it is more appealing than real life. However, in other cases it can simply enhance the enjoyment...this can be hindered however with far more complicated controls which cause people to practice them and therefore they can also take-over one's life this way!!!!!! Having said this they can be very enjoyable and especially sports games for me...the better the graphics, the better the gameplay, the more enjoyment (User:bealecr) (EDT) 10:56, 28 April 2007

It's a tough call. While graphics, sound, gameplay, etc. are getting better, I don't think the substance of video games is getting any better. There haven't been any truly innovative games released in a long time. A majority of it is the same old same old FPS, RTS, etc. I'd like to see game developers slow down on the fluff and come up with some revolutionary ideas. --Colest 10:22, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

No duh!

It is not important if video games are getting better or worse. Just don't play them, allright? Unless there is some benefit to it. But look at your life this way: time is your greatest comodoty. Time is MORE valuable than money... time is your LIFE. The devil is slowly killing countless young people by getting them to waste their time (lives) on silly video games. Get out there and do something more productive with your life... do something for GOD. (fyi - the only way I see video games being beneficial, is if it is a recreational activity that you can use to build relationships with other people. And even then, use sparingly. Jason 22:31, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

However, there are non-recreational purposes for videogames. The Rainbow-Six series of videogames were used by both Military and Police in order to practice tactical actions when MILES gear and Shoot-Houses are not available. Games can also be used to enhance one's fine motor skills, and certain games require the player to think through a situation, something I think that many people should learn how to do. My friends and I use games in order communicate when face-to-face contact is impossible. You can get a lot of things out of games, that you can't get otherwise. --User:Capercorn Talkcontribs 21:26, 7 February 2008 (EST)
Recently, a study showed that surgeons who played video games had better hand-eye coordination than those who did not. Here's the link [1]. So apparently not a total waste of time. Also, like movies and books, games provide something to talk about and a forum for socialization. Why are group online games any worse than offline group card games (the ones using old fashioned paper cards) or board games? There's no reason the whole family couldn't theoretically participate if there is more than one computer in the household connected to the net. Userafw 16:17, 14 September 2008 (EDT)


Video games are moving, or have moved, from mindless entertainment into storytelling mediums. Just look at games such as the Metal Gear Solid, FEAR, System Shock, or Deus Ex series. /debate. --GaussRifleGrunt 13:28, 20 August 2008 (EDT)

Agreed. The best ones have constructive and creative elements, like my favorite, the Sims 2. When the graphics improved, EA games also replaced the make baby scene with a cinematic so that the T for Teen rating could be maintained, and to discourage fan-made pornographic elements. (All one sees is a couple lumps under the covers plus fireworks.)Most of the game is similar to a virtual dollhouse, and the Sims are the "dolls", but with specific needs and aspirations. A lot of creativity is used in creating the Sims, building and furnishing their houses and venues, and making up stories about them. Best of all, the game is non-violent. I like the Simcity series for much the same reasons. Casual games (like match-3, multitasking and hidden object games) are also becoming more and more popular, though they don't require the latest graphics they do have the advantage of playing well on notebook computers. Userafw 16:08, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

I agree too. A good game has a good storyline AND good graphics. Without either, it is a crappy game. Not to say I wouldn't go back and play Final Fantasy VIII on the original PlayStation, but it does mean I will refuse to play a game developed on a current console system with such generational graphics. It is pathetic to accept a crappy product. ARX3000 10:39, 14 June 2009 (EDT)