As much as some may hate to admit it, graphics remain a supremely important aspect of this industry.
And so long as this remains a form of entertainment that includes visuals, there's no doubt that what we see will always have a significant impact on the experience.
But shouldn't we be reaching beyond that now? Shouldn't this ever-advancing industry be about more than flashy graphics at this point in time? Well, to some extent, yes. One could point to Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls and go, "See, the focus there is on writing and character development and telling a dramatic, emotional story, complete with interactive freedom." At the same time, we have to ask ourselves the important question: Would it be half as immersive and impressive if the graphics weren't so amazing?
The better we see and understand a character's face, the more we're absorbed into the story, at least from a passive standpoint. From an active standpoint, we have to concede that the more realistic something appears before us, the more likely we are to become sucked into that admittedly fake universe. So perhaps it's perfectly natural for us to gravitate toward the slick and the highly technical. Maybe the refined graphics are part of the reason why interactive entertainment continues to grow; "a picture is worth a thousand words," yes? So shouldn't that picture be as good as possible?
As much as we all used our imaginations (which is great) to picture the look on a little sprite's face when that heart popped up over its head, it just isn't the same as seeing real emotion on a real-looking face. That's probably the long and short of it, right there.