Video Game Graphics Are Now Indistinguishable From Real Life- Or Are They?

Recently, a video comparing video game graphics to real life was published. The video places GoPro footage from a lap at Laguna Seca racetrack side by side with footage from the same lap in ProjectCars. The results are quite confusing. A lot of people are saying that video game graphics haven’t just caught up to real life, they’ve surpassed it. However, others (myself included) beg to differ.

In the video below, it’s clear that the graphics of ProjectCars are incredible, but a few key problems keep it from being completely realistic.

First: The depiction of the car and driver are too perfect. If you watch the clip, you can easily tell that the car on the left is the real one because the colors are constantly changed by the sunlight on the car- the vibrantly colored car on the right is just too perfect to be realistic. Same goes for the driver- his movements are too fluid, too precise to be real. Watch the real driver saw at the wheel and you’ll see what I mean.

Credit: Abgefahren! - Youtube

Credit: Abgefahren! – Youtube

Second: Look at the trees in the background. Anyone would be able to look at those and tell you they aren’t real. Same with the fences and other background objects. I understand that the developers’ focus was more on making sure the car, driver, and track looked realistic, but in order for video games to be completely realistic, developers have to pay just as much attention to the stuff in the background.

Credit: Abgefahren! - Youtube

Credit: Abgefahren! – Youtube

Third: The biggest issue isn’t that the car and driver are too perfect or that not enough attention was paid to the background, it’s that both of the problems are present. If the car and driver weren’t so starkly different from the imperfect background, you might not be able to notice either. The fact that both problems are shown side by side makes both of them more obvious.

Credit: Abgefahren! - Youtube

Credit: Abgefahren! – Youtube

Even though this may have been a suboptimal choice to display how much closer to reality video game graphics have gotten, the improvements in graphics over the past years are slowly but surely creeping towards being indistinguishable from real life.