Graphics Syndrome: Myth or Reality?

by RoyalRanger

In today's times of systems with astonishing visuals, the classic gamers have come to be aquainted with the "Graphics Syndrome." In short, it is the theory that gamers of today care more about graphics than gameplay. This has become the leaning post of the classic gamers in most of the classic gaming vs. modern gaming arguments. But is this supposed syndrome real or just a myth? No, it's not real. No, it's not a myth. It's both!

"How can the graphics syndrome be a reality and a myth at the same time?" you may ask. Well, the truth is that the graphics craze has always existed, even all the way back to the old Atari systems. But since the graphics craze has always existed in video games, there really has been no "syndrome" at all. It remains constant.

I want you to think back to the times when the NES and/or SNES were the big systems of the day. Don't tell me there hasn't been even one time where you or a friend gloated over the graphics of even one of those games. I'm sure many gamers went wild when they saw the visuals of Legend of Zelda when it was first released. The craze for good graphics is nothing new, it has always been with us.

So does this give us any right to criticize new games based on their visuals? Absolutely not! Whether a gamer likes 3D games or 2D games is their choice and a mere matter of opinion. Just like with music, there is no universal standard for good and bad; no sane person should say that one type of music is better than another type of music, because that is only an opinion that is based on that individual. And as the times change, the popular style of music, as well as video games, will change with it, but even the hordes of NES gamers can't really say that the NES is better than the N64, because whether it is better or not is dependant soley upon the opinion of each individual human being.

It did take me a while to realize this, as I would use the "Graphics over Gameplay" argument in those arguments with modern gamers as well. But, putting the opinion of each human being aside, just using that statement would make me a hypocrite, because even I have cared more about graphics than gameplay at least once in my life, and probably still do, once in a while, to this day, even in pertaining to old games. Times change, great games don't. Choose your words wisely and be careful of what you say to others, because you may at one time realize that you are being hypocritica as well or that you are trying to set an impossible universal standard for good or bad taste.