How Realistic Do Gamers Want Their Games To Get?

In today's Speak-Up on Kotaku, commenter Matt_Twombly ponders the advanced realism coming in games like Rockstar's L.A. Noire. When do games become too real?

Reading the latest editorial on L.A. Noire got me thinking: How realistic do gamers actually want their games?

There is all this talk this generation of immersion and games' capacity to captivate the player. A mechanism often attributed to this is realism and a great story. But how realistic is a game when your character ends up killing literally hundreds of people throughout a campaign?

What I'm trying to say is, doesn't the story of a game like Red Dead, lose realism when you're killing 30+ outlaws while clearing a single hideout? Marston, our hero, is literally a mass murderer. Admittedly, I wouldn't want it any other way. Gunplay was what made that game so much fun. But this brings me to question Rockstar's next release. How realistic will it be if the player ends up killing dozens of gangsters while raiding a hideout? How many shootouts in the streets of LA would it take before a police chief suspends a detective's badge? Shouldn't it take just as many bullets to kill a detective as it would to kill a gangster? Wouldn't a detective have some moral difficulties with killing even one man?

Games have always required some degree of a suspension of disbelief. With Rockstar pioneering a new technology of facial animation, they are ultimately trying to lessen that degree. So should gameplay mechanics (like killing hundreds) follow suit?

About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have that little box on the front page of Kotaku. You know, the one with "Got something to say?" written in it? That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Just make sure to include #speakup in your comment so we can find it. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best #speakup posts we can find and highlight it here.