A Metaphor for Graphics Technology


Sometimes I get the sense that people have started to consider video game graphics a “problem” that has been largely “solved,” and that any further development is an exercise in diminishing marginal returns. Like a skyscraper, after too many stories have been added the building becomes too expensive and simply not worth the effort to construct. It is then usually suggested that now we can finally stop worrying about graphics and go on to begin making the great, innovative gameplay we’ve all been waiting for (even though we do not really seem to agree on what that actually is).

However, just the opposite is true: the more development that has taken place in this area, the more that is possible to expand upon. Instead of a single skyscraper, the development of graphics technology is more like the construction of roads: the more development that takes place, the more valuable the resultant network as a whole, and the more further development becomes possible. The next generation consoles have opened the way to all kinds of new territory– areas of which we are really only beginning to scratch the surface in shipping products. There is a huge amount of work still to be done: a myriad of problems to be solved, and plenty of opportunity to seize.

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