Realism In Games: How Real Do Shooters/FPS Games Get?

Hey guys thought I would try this and see what happens.  There are hundreds of realism units out there in  several games.  Most of which are in Arma.  Now my question for everyone is…

How real do you get?

Is the realism of a military unit good for young kids in a video game?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  Guys, thanks for the support.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Maybe we can make this and the tangent topics the theme of HorsePLAY! EP16 – what do you guys think?

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  1. Realism is always a good thing in my mind. However there are many bad things that come along with it. One could either both ways, but if I had to pick a side, I side with pro-realism. In my opinion, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.

  2. fortengard says:

    I find gaming’s constant journey towards realism is a waste of time because of the countless variables of reality that you will never be able to program. I don’t really find military realism offensive in itself as much as I hate most military realism games like CoD offensive because they are neoconservative propaganda. But here’s the thing about violent media. Media has less influence on our habits than activists would think but more than we would like to hope. It can’t change our behavior but it could make us think that some actions are more acceptable. Real life isn’t fun because it has a lot of clunky and unpleasant mechanics and the strive towards it is a complete journey in to dumb shit. ARMA is a game for neckbeards. Your Day Z survival fantasies are dumb.

    • LMAO Fort – tell us how you really feel! I agree on the foolish pursuit of realism with the caveat that immersion and, by extension, replay value should be the focus for developers. The popularity of indie games proves that realism and sexy graphics are not important factors for all gamers. After all, if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd! Now, I would not qualify CoD as a realism or even tactical shooter, simply because the damage and physics lack. CoD plays more like Halo than a Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Company of Heroes, or Arma game. Heck, even Battlefield has more tactics, realism, and skill involved in. The vast majority of CoD players don’t know what teamwork or strategy is. As for the neckbeard stuff, I think all passionate gamers find ways to justify their decisions and tastes. I don’t think it’s fair to put people in boxes just because they enjoy something you don’t get or accept, unless they are close-minded and blindly shoot down everything else in defense of what they like. Heck, that’s why I started GANG: we can share our passions without hating people with contrasting opinions or being unfairly judged ourselves by default. Oh, and neckbeard is a funny word, much like asshat. =o]

  3. Stan Faryna says:

    Is realism defined primarily by the visualization of physical violence?

  4. fortengard says:

    No. That is… a pretty dumb question. Realism is defined by how close it is to our world in terms of presentation. Except reality is perception.
    The fear of realistic violence is that it might encourage imitation IRL.
    I simply don’t see reason for a medium to be so focused on capturing realism because of the endless variables of the world we exist in that would be too hard to recreate and completely pointless to try to. You don’t need absolute realism to create a connection between the creation and the observer, for that you need pathos. Hell this doesn’t go just for games. I love martial arts movies but pretty much all martial arts moves are completely unrealistic representations of an actual fight. Pretty much all UFC matches are two angry dudes full of horse gene steroids trying to get the other one on the ground and then blast the other dude in the face.
    The endless strive towards realism is pointless because art mediums aren’t intended to create absolute realism because art has a structure while the world is by nature chaotic. So much money and effort has been piled in to super realistic graphical engines, and now we’re at the verge of total graphical realism. And after you get to it, then what?
    I felt more emotion for Asura’s Wrath, this super unrealistic game about an angry robot-statue-god-dude who punches other robot-god-dudes than I did for any hyperrealistic gunwank military propaganda game no matter how detailed the physics of their nosehair was.

    • I think it is an excellent question because those are terms the average gamer would use as synonyms for realism. That said, immersion and realism are often confused. If a creative work allows us an escapism and perhaps the opportunity to suspend our beliefs long enough to be lost in a new world, then it is as real and immersive as the real world. There is a thin line between stickyness and immersion so the latter should be identified by breaking from reality as we know it and perhaps losing track of time as we get lost in a new world.

      We will dig deeper into this in one of our upcoming articles for sure!

  5. Stan Faryna says:

    Onanistic monologues are effective conversation stoppers.

  6. obionex2 says:

    No one is right or wrong in this I wanted to see what other people’s thoughts about the topic. After listening to HorsePLAY from this past Thursday my views have changed a little so my thoughts are….
    Any person in the world that plays games will decide to make the game they are playing as real or as fake as they want to. As for me I play the games I do because I enjoy the play. LOL and ARMA. You can not live in different reality’s. ArmA is a game that I play and have also lived. For me on military simulation or any simulation I make it as real as humanly possible because I know that’s how it is. So to say that it is a stupid question or not a good topic you are wrong this is not only just realism game but who are play these game. YES I think that what a young child does, hears, says when he/she are at the age 7-15 will play an role in defining their future in some way shape or form. There are age limits on game for a reason. Now you can think why are all these parents let there kids play all these game….That’s another topic.

    • Right on, Obi!

      Realism is very subjective simply because everyone views reality based upon their personal worldview and perspectives. It’s like how my wife can immerse herself in Harry Potter and other fantasy works, finding them every bit as believable and realistic as our world as we know it.. Yet she can’t do the same with science fiction usually (Fringe is an exception). She is more a person of faith than science, so the rules in any science fiction world elude her. It’s really fascinating when you look at it that way.

      In video games, it’s important to avoid breaking that fourth wall.. Anything that breaks the gameplay or reminds us we’re “just playing a game” can ruin immersion and realism alike. For military shooters, the argument is that realism would kill the fun but it really depends on what your values and priorities are. Again, that is very subjective. I personally prefer realism over arcade-style games because it is frustrating to have a bunch of kids running around or camping, shooting about haphazardly and getting lucky while my headshots do nothing.

      The real thing happening here is the magic of rewards built into core mechanics. Satisfying gameplay essentially equates to feeling like your decisions matter and that there is more skill involved than luck. Too much luck and the incentive for trying hard, employing strategy, and working as a team goes out the window. Of course, on the flip side, too much skill means it can be daunting for newer players. That’s all more a matter of stickyness and immersion than realism, but it’s what causes developers to lean towards fun and mass appeal rather than complete realism. As you said, Obi, we can make anything our reality if we can suspend our disbelief long enough. That’s an art great game developers and storytellers alike learn to master for sure!

      As for Fort, he has strong opnions and tells it how it is.. But that’s what makes him Fort and we appreciate him for it. It’s interesting to see such diverse opinions on these types of topics. Besides, it’s like they say.. Opinions are like assholes: everyone has them and most of them stink. We don’t have to agree and that’s part of the fun. Let’s just make sure we are accepting to contrasting ideas. 8)

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