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The Daily Grind: Graphics don't matter?

Jef Reahard

Spend any time around gamers and you'll likely hear the phrase "graphics don't matter." It's one of the pillars of gaming wisdom, if you will, that has probably existed as long as there have been graphics and nerds arguing about them. I've got friends who swear up and down that "gameplay" is all that matters, and a soft spot for high-definition eye-candy is the mark of a shallow gamer. Perhaps this is one reason why critical darlings like LittleBigPlanet, anything with Mario in the title, and World of Warcraft gobble up the superlatives despite visual aesthetics that might have been state-of-the-art in 1995.

Graphics are also quite subjective (if you don't believe me, look for the inevitable "WoW has a consistent art style" comments below), calling into question the validity of the "graphics don't matter" hypothesis. Clearly they matter to some folks, and In some games, like Age of Conan, high levels of world detail not only look beautiful but can also can obscure mobs and add to the challenge and/or immersion.

What about you, dear readers? Do you care about graphics, subscribe to conventional gamer wisdom, or both?

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