Blocky Charm

March 29, 2013

I was reading a thread a while back (and I just realized how often I start articles with that exact same statement) and it was all about graphics. I know I’ve said before that graphics don’t matter to me, but I did get somewhat annoyed when someone said that Minecraft had bad graphics.

minecraft bad graphics funnyObviously graphical differences are subjective. Some people who say Call of Duty (CoD) have great graphics think Uncharted isn’t as good looking, and vice versa, so to each their own. We all obviously think some stuff looks better than others. I don’t want to argue about what looks good and what doesn’t, however I WOULD like to argue that there is really no such thing as bad graphics…in terms of games that go out of their way to look different.

Obviously, bad graphics exist. Bullet Witch, for example. Which I enjoyed, in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of way.

But I hate when games go out of their way to look different and achieve a different, unique visual aesthetic and instead are called “ugly”. Yes, as I said before, everyone’s idea of “graphical quality” is different, but there’s a difference between having an opinion and being wrong. When a game like Minecraft goes out of its way deliberately to look the way that it does, that’s part of its charm. It’s the same with games like Rayman Origins or Team Fortress 2 (TF2). These are artistically different games, visually, that are made to look that way. It’s not like the designers just didn’t give a shit and made it look however the hell they wanted. Those people put as much time and effort into making those games look that way as the people who make Halo do.

“Good Graphics” =/= Good Game

And Minecraft is especially pleasing because of the way that it looks. If Minecraft looked like CoD or looked more realistic in general (I’m just using CoD as an example, I don’t actually hate it that much), it would take away from some of its charm, I feel. Minecraft is a game that, to me, feels a lot like gaming back in the day when it was all about just having fun. Back in the 90s and early 2000s, we didn’t care about graphics or story or voice acting or any of the garbage that plagues games today, all we cared about as far as I could tell is how much fun something is. Minecraft puts all its eggs in that basket and it works like a charm. Your enjoyment in Minecraft isn’t about how it looks or how it’s presented or what “story” there is. Your enjoyment in Minecraft is what you do in it and what you accomplish, because that is all that that game is about. Accomplishing goals. Creating things. Its graphics are merely a placeholder if nothing else. I STILL don’t care about graphics or story or anything (as I may have said before) but I would like it noted that just because something looks different doesn’t make it bad.

I may not care about graphics but I do care about people’s artistic integrity.

TF2 & Minecraft both are totally unique in their visuals and it is part of what makes them what they are. It helps make them more identifiable.

Minecraft has this sort of “innocent childlike” charm to it and its graphics help get that point across, specifically because they were made to represent that.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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