Four Gaming Clichés That Absolutely Need To Die

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Clichés only become clichés because they're popular. In the case of those we're discussing, some of them date back decades or were readily adapted from film. The concept of the Chosen Hero, of course, dates back to the beginning of recorded history -- or at least to The Adventure of Zelda.

We're PC gamers here, which means we arguably love eye candy more than the console crowd -- at the very least, we shell out for systems and games that track the technology curve far more tightly. All the same, if the figures don't work, they don't work.

When Half-Life came out, I played it on a K6-233 with 64MB of RAM and a 12MB Voodoo 2. Today I game on a system clocked more than 10x higher with 4x the cores, 256x as much RAM, and a GPU that fifty Voodoo 2's in parallel couldn't match. If Half-Life-style sequences are still the rage, it's not because underlying hardware hasn't offered the ability to deliver something different.

None of these alternatives are as easy as "make the monsters look better," but if the industry's cost projections are to be believed, that's a losing proposition in the long run. The best thing the game industry could do is to focus on improving how we interact with games and what sort of natural, immersive actions are possible, versus the lopsided situation we're in now where burning millions on building better pixels is the rage and game play takes a back seat.

Tags:  Gaming, graphics, cliches

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