Ultimately, the challenges the "uncanny valley" poses to motion capture and animation will be overcome by technology. But suspension of disbelief is just as important to a game's storytelling, writes the actor who portrayed Ethan Mars in Heavy Rain.
A week ago, we pondered the chance of living to 100 and still playing games at that age. But even as the gamer demographic trends older, many feel like the time will naturally come when they'll put down the controller.
Rather than ponder games' artistic merit, Brian Hertler tackles a question that's a little more lighthearted, yet no more answerable: Just why do we find video games - even the simplest ones - so fun?
Every adventure requires an antagonist, someone or something corrupting the world you're in. It's a basic need. Yet why do so many games serve up foes whose evildoing provides more of a chore to be undone than a memorable struggle?
No matter who is brought in to write a story or dialogue, the industry still treats the written word in such a utilitarian way that it has a second-class citizenship among the other art forms comprising a video game.
I've no idea why, but it seems no accident that the week before Easter I went back to start over the original Assassin's Creed, the only game I've ever played that is set in the Holy Land.
In a culture so infused with irony, the appreciation of campy works - outrageous movies, terrible art, worse music - is absolutely mainstream. Does it apply to games? Can games strive to be campy? Or are they already so?
I have a fear of horror films, and by extension horror games. I'm just too attenuated to suspense and having the hell scared out of me. But what I'm really experiencing, argues one writer, is just that: scary, not horror.
It's there, and you know how to use it. It's an exploit or a glitch or some imbalance in the AI. Morally, it's wrong. But what if everyone else is doing it? Or just the potential for them doing it?
In the past year, 70,000 men and women enlisted in the U.S. Army. Sixty-seven times that amount - 4.7 million - played Modern Warfare 2 on a console or PC, released one day before Veteran's Day.
It is hard to read of a young man, essentially homeless, spending Christmas alone in a games store and not feel a twinge of sadness. But it's a memory more sweet than bitter to someone who considers games a lifesaver.
Many have praised Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for its story and cinematics almost to the exclusion of its gameplay. But the latter is chiefly why it was one of 2009's finest games, argues one writer.
Steve Gaynor, a designer at 2K Marin, understands that he works in an entertainment field, and provides a product nonessential to basic human needs. That doesn't mean video games - and their makers - have no obligation to the public.
A director of design and an avowed "hardcore ludologist" ponders why the well constructed games he nominates do so poorly in design competitions, engaging a debate over whether games are a media or designed objects. But they're both, he says.
Unsurprisingly, many game developers and publishers would rather stick a fork in a live power outlet than discuss religion in games, much less write it into a game with a role more complex than archetypal good-vs.-evil belief sets.
Paid downloadable content and in-game advertising are two touchy issues in gaming discussions, and two recent releases have in a way brought both together, one more artfully than the other.
Why would anyone spend 12 years working on a single game, with no assurances it'll ever be finished. It's called "escalation of commitment" - a classic good-money-after-bad bargain, and a psychologist thinks it explains Duke Nukem Forever.
Boss battles are critically important to most video game genres, providing climactic story points as well as the kind of challenge for which the game was bought in the first place. But what about the minor foes of a game?
As game designers become more like film directors, the paths they lay out for players becomes increasingly scripted and, frankly, downright restricted. Still the illusion of freedom persists in this genre.