There will inevitably come a point when photorealism in videogames reaches its zenith. But what happens after that point is achieved?
From Kill Screen:
In certain corners of the world of Super Mario 64, there are graphical glitches that turn a seemingly solid space into a splintered chaos of polygons. Solid walls turn inside-out as the game’s camera freaks out. The same fractures exist in the visual façade of games like GoldenEye 007 and the Call of Duty series—tiled textures extend to cover objects that they don’t belong to; walls or trees that seem to exist in space are actually two-dimensional stage props up close.
What we perceive as a logical world in a videogame is, of course, an elaborate construction, but it’s usually good enough to trick us into believing it. The varying degree of this believability seems to correlate to a videogame’s “realism” quotient; the more a videogame looks like a photograph, the more real we think it is.
There will come a point when photorealism in videogames reaches its zenith—when the grass your avatar treads on looks and bends like real grass, when polygon glitches no longer exist. See a trailer of Battlefield 3 gameplay or Crysis 2 for examples of how the immediate future of videogames reaches toward a perfect photorealism. But what happens after that point is achieved? The photorealistic approach seems to me to be a dead-end street, an aspiration that, once perfectly achieved, leads to a death of possibility.