The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Aesthetic will be more important than graphical quality in the near future.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2015 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 735 times Debate No: 75353
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Back when Pac Man released, graphical quality was a huge importance because ground could be covered quickly, but I contend that diminishing returns will take hold in the next few years of gaming. Due to that, companies (Triple A's included) will be forced to focus more on aesthetic rather than graphical quality.

In that regard, I ask the con: will aesthetic (the art/look of the game) become more important than graphical achievement (720p, 1080p, 4K, better lighting engines, etc.)?

1st round: meet and greet/opening claims
2-4: actual arguments


Hello, I am new to this site and am here to argue that aesthetic, while being very important, will not match the importance of graphical quality for a variety of factors, such the fact that frame rates affect game play immensely, higher texture resolutions will continue to make games look more real (increasing immersion), and that tangible numbers relating to the games graphical quality are a better selling point that saying the game is aesthetically pleasing.
Debate Round No. 1


Please note that frame rates have nothing to do with the graphical quality (to my understanding). I agree that framerates should stay as high as possible.

1) At the beggining of gaming, graphical quality improved with leaps and bounds; however, graphical quality hasn't changed that much from game to game. Also, modern graphical quality soaks up a great deal of development time and resources. This shows diminishing returns. We can assume that, eventually, only minor improvements in graphical quality will cost a great deal of resources from devs and/or publishers.

While hard numbers are a great selling point, those numbers won't mean anything if a significant profit cannot be achieved.

2) Aesthetic can subtract from/add to graphical quality. Battlefield 3 uses Frostbite 2 engine, and 4 uses the Frostbite 3 engine. Now this is personal opinion if course, but I consider Battlefield 3's look to be better than 4's. Battlefield 4 had a more recent/upgraded engine, I, personally, found that the watered down colors negatively impacted the increased quality.

Let me reiterate that that is my PERSONAL OPINION; however, what it does show is that the aesthetic of a game can be equally as important as the base graphical quality and that better quality doesn't always mean it'll look better.



I would object to frame rate not being included in the original wording of the debate "graphical achievement" would include frame rate due to the fact that game engine's graphics must be optimized to create both Graphical and Aesthetic beauty within a game that everyone can enjoy. It takes hard work to optimize a game, so I would call it a graphical achievement. You do acknowledge that this is very important.

1. I acknowledge that graphical quality has advanced much more quickly in the past, but not much variation between games is simply false. if I were to look at a game from just a few years ago and compare it to one now (for the purposes of picking a game everyone knows, I'm comparing Black ops 2 to Advanced warfare (not a big fan, but it will suffice to support the debate. When looking, the first thing that pops out at me is that reflections within the scopes, this is not aesthetic this is the capability of the engine being displayed. I can see a much more vivid reflection in the new game and little details such as that within the engine will help to draw players in with immersion (if you can become immersed in call of duty, that is). The second thing I notice are the shadows in both. Within the black ops two screenshot (I link it at the end, along with the AW one) there is less clearly defined and detailed shadow, shadow, in my personal opinion, is one of the most important factors in making a game look appealing, and it is control by the quality of the engine that renders them. If a game looks appealing to the eye, it will sell better, like book covers sell books.

2.I agree with you in the case you mentioned, BF4 is no where near as vibrant or appealing as bf3. But this is the case where I can't argue that aesthetics had a greater effect on the game's looks than engine, I applaud you opponent.
But if we stop innovating our graphical engines to produce greater detail, than how can we pack in the greater aesthetics craved by consumers? Aesthetics generally do depend on an engines ability to produce detail to recreate the thoughts of the art department within a game world. Can we really expect greater innovation without improving our technological capabilities first?
Thank you, ponder on these questions and reply when ready.
Debate Round No. 2


1) You're comparison is faulty. A blatantly older game will look less appealing than a newer game.
Blops2 - Ghosts - AW
First and foremost, each of these games were created by three different dev teams with their own separate budgets; furthermore, Blops 2 likely started its development in 2010 when Black Ops released and released in 2012. Ghosts released in 2013, and AW released in 2014. We can guarantee that Blops 2 and Ghosts had a two year cycle, but we don't know about AW aside from assuming that it had AT LEAST two years as well.

Therefore, we can assume that AW started development in 2012, a full two years after Blops 2, and this assumes that Sledgehammer hadn't been developing AW for longer than two years (which is what I would believe but alas, a lack of proof). If Sledge did start development before 2012, then it's a false comparison because a two year game will be of less quality than a three year one.

2) Engines can still be improved, but I contend that devs and consumers will need to learn that these engines aren't gaining that much ground.

I'm not against devs favoring graphical quality over aesthetic, but those games will be few and far between compared to the larger, more aesthetically driven market. Also, the indie industry is doing better than ever. While graphical quality IS a selling point, the simple fact if the matter is that some/most/I-don't-have-statistics people don't as much care anymore.


It's the same series within 3 years of each other, neither is ridiculously outdated, and the argument shows that improvements in graphical quality over aesthetic (which is similar for both) with make a game look better. Increasing immersion.

Which is my final argument, the graphical quality of games increasing to look more realistic when technologies like the Oculus Rift roll out will be more important. Through the history of games, we've been striving to achieve the goal of creating a virtual reality, it has sold before and it will sell again. With different companies moving in to sell us the technologies we need for greater immersion, our graphical capabilities will have to match. What will happen when the texture is right up close to your eye and it isn't up to expectations? What will happen when the graphical glitches of engines become that much more noticeable when you are trying to immerse yourself within a different world? Is aesthetic really going to be more important when the very thing that most gamers are trying to do, immerse themselves within the game, is being comprimised by faulty graphical fidelety and stability? Will it still sell if it is impossible to attain the immersion that the industry has been so long trying to create?
Thank you opponent, reply when you feel ready.
Debate Round No. 3


1) Ghosts would still be a better comparison.

2) My opponent states that gamers and devs alike have been "striving to achieve the goal of creating a virtual reality" since games began as an established media; however, current consumer trends speak the exact opposite. The simple fact that there are other, equally as popular, genres aside from first person debunks that statement immediately.

-MOBAs have sprung up as mega hits over the past few years. League/DOTA has overtaken literally every other game on the market in players.
-Strategy is stuck with Starcraft; however, the Esports scene is so strong that it won't die in the next few years if not decades.
-Games like Minecraft and Terraria threw graphical fidelity out the window but still sold millions.
All of these genres/games have no use for a virtual reality component, yet they remain as strong as ever.
-Any third person game really.

But let's focus in games that could use the Rift:
While it is immersive when you look onto a beautiful landscape in GTA or a ravaged battlefield in CoD or Battlefield, that immersion is broken as soon as you PLAY the game. No, the simple fact of the matter is that devs only use that term to make their game sound more mature. Call of a Duty allows people to run around with knives and sniper rifles on 40m squared maps. Battlefield allows you the ability to put C4 on your jeep and ram it into a helicopter. Heck, ARMA is designed to be realistic, not immersive. The realistic elements are in place because they offer unique gameplay, not immersion. The Oculus Rift becomes pointless in ARMA when you have the ability to go into third person.

Furthermore, the Rift is a niche gadget for a niche audience. People may have heard of it, but I doubt most gamers give two potatoes what happens to it.

The gaming industry's consumers, especially in recent years, have made it a point that they like gameplay, not graphical fidelity. Call of Duty is an extremely popular franchise, but it's as immersive as trying to sword fight with wet noodles because it actually has low level graphical quality compared to many AAAs. Crysis 3 pushed the boundaries with its machine melting quality.

Here's what happened to it:
"Crysis 3 was also released in February and was the month"s third best-selling game in the US, moving 205,000 copies."

Call Of Duty:

Gamers don't want graphical immersion. It's becoming more and more obvious, especially with the booming indie industry (who can't afford the best fidelity), to devs that they'll need to rethink their goals because gamers already have.


spikeybuddy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by spikeybuddy 2 years ago
woops i forgot to do that
Posted by Inventorkid 2 years ago
I happen to agree. As the technology available to us today becomes infinitely better, the graphical integrity of video games can be fantastic. I believe that in a few years time that graphical technology will be so good, creating graphics indistinguishable from reality will be possible.

However, as graphical technology increases in quality, there is much more work needing to be done to use graphical technology to its fullest potential, possibly extending the ECA for some projects by many years.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits by con, so conduct to Pro.