Recently, I read an article from the Guardian that concerned the design of video game characters. The author was making the point that gamers dislike characters more as the become more realistic. The reason behind this being that it takes away from an individuals imagination. As the imagery becomes sharper and clearer the gamer is unable to construct the character in their own minds. This idea is very similar to a great book being made into a movie. People that read the book and watch the movie almost always prefer the book because they were able to form mold characters in the way that they imagined.
I think another explanation for this gamer dissatisfaction is the escape from reality that a video game offers. Many people start playing games because they want an outlet where they can get a break from the world around them. However, as the characters become more and more realistic, the game will loses its mystique and lure for the player. The game feels less like a getaway and more like the reality they are trying to escape.
I myself appreciate progress in graphics. I like my games to feel more realistic because it makes me feel more involved in the game. If the character of a game feels outdated, I will struggle to get into the game. Also, I play a lot of sports video games and in these type of games, graphic realness is key. For instance, the Madden graphics of old are not appealing to me in the slightest.
So all this begs the question, how real should video game designers get?