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I've Seen The Future, There Are Polygons

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Chicken is a favourite food of mine. As is pie. Chicken pie is probably my all time best-food-in-the-universe. I've been playing Command and Conquer: The First Decade a bit lately. I bought it a while back, but there's many games I've never played. Currently I'm in the later parts of the Allies campaign in Red Alert. Good times.

So where do I go when I want food? I go to the mall. And games? The mall. And delicious things which are probably more damaging to my health than good? And vitamins? And computer hardware? The mall. Today I went to the mall, as per usual, but I noticed something. I looked around the parking lot. Hundreds of parked cars. Trees. The paving. The buildings. The people. All these things that we just accept when we go to the mall. Then, something hit me. Something that only a complete and total nerd or computer geek would think of. I looked around, and I thought to myself.

"Jesus, what would it take to render all of this?"

Every day I see people talking about how "Graphics are as good as they're going to get". Normally, I'd agree, but today, looking at the massive landscape of the mall before me, I couldn't help but think to myself that maybe we really do have an incredibly long way to go.

I admit I haven't played most of the latest games out there. I don't have a Playstation 2, and my graphics card is a Radeon 9600; Completely incapable of handling most of the more attractive scenes in games today. But even when I look at the screenshots from the latest games, I can't help but feel that our environments today.. they're too.. something. They're either too small, or too simple. And when they're big and complex, they're always too clean. Look around your room. Look at your desk. I don't know about you, but my desk is a mess. Looking at all wires, the CD cases, the junk.

It's an incredibly complex scene, but it's also dirty. You've got dust, dents in the wood, stains. All these little details that make it all seem real. I believe developers today spend too much time focusing on the graphics technology. But at the same time, I think I'm just realizing that we are nowhere near the peak. We've got a long way to go yet.
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