Skip to main content

Video game graphics and players’ perception of subjective realism.

Nestorova, V., 2021. Video game graphics and players’ perception of subjective realism. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

NESTOROVA, Viktoria_M.Res._2020.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



This work explores how people who play and develop video games perceive realism. ‘Realism’ is a very broad term and has different meanings for different people, therefore in this project the terms 'realism’ and ‘visual fidelity’ are used to refer to the visuals and their appearance in video games. This helps define what is perceived as believable and close to real-life by consumers as well as developers. Realism can clearly be noticed in the artistic aspect of games; accordingly, this project focuses on this side of the subject. In order to understand why visual fidelity is an important factor in game development, this work provides a brief summary of the history of video games. As Physically Based Rendering is commonly used nowadays, the project aims to understand the contribution of PBR31 to achieving realism. The project aims to investigate how game developers achieve visual fidelity and realistic environments. It will consider what is needed to create visuals that are perceived as realistic and what distinguishes the realistic aesthetic from other art styles in video games. Lighting, texture maps, workflows and other terms are discussed, in conjunction with exploring consumer opinion on the subject. The project employs a qualitative research method through asking game developers and gamers for their opinions on themes regarding the subject to help establish whether there is a different understanding of the term in the different groups. To understand better why visuals are sometimes perceived as ‘creepy’ and as part of the ‘uncanny valley’, related psychological aspects and influences are taken into account. This work also investigates how other aspects of the development process (design, animation, narrative, sound, etc.) assist the visual art with conveying realism to the customers. This also aids the formation of a hypothesis of whether true realism in video games will ever be accomplished.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:video game; realism; graphics; visual; video game art; multimodal; PBR; photogrammetry; immersion; believability; aesthetics; gamer; visual art evolution; qualitative; focus group; hardware; timeline; art style; brain chemicals; physiology; perceptual opportunities; uncanny valley; Moore’s law; refraction; reflection; ray tracing; lighting; environment; material; baking; workflow
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:35717
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:30 Jun 2021 12:55
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:28


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -