A Video Game Decided My Next Travel Destination

whether you want to argue the pros or cons, the evolution of technology is pretty amazing when you see what can be accomplished.  remember when video games looked like this?

Sonic© http://www.ign.com

if you aren’t familiar with this image, that is Sonic the Hedgehog.  a video game created for Nintendo Sega Genesis.  this was back in 1991.

well in 2014 there has been much attention on just how realistic video games are becoming.  and they aren’t even focused on presenting us with a representation of a fantasy world anymore.  now they are showing us quite visually detailed cities pictured during certain historical time periods.

want to see what Revolutionary Paris looked like?  all you have to do is either ask Google for images, go old school and find them in a library, or you could just play Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

assassins-creed-unity 1 assassins-creed-unity 2 assassins-creed-unity 3 assassins-creed-unity 4 assassins-creed-unity 5© Ubisoft

these are insane. maybe it’s because I am not one that plays video games, but I had no idea that they are this detailed.  they truly represented what Paris looked like in the 1790s.  not only does the game set about capturing historical accuracy in the landmarks, but they also wanted to capture the essence of the city, as stated by Nicholas Guerin who was the world game designer for this game.

To recapture the essence of the city, it is of the utmost importance to extract what makes the streets and the non-landmarks buildings memorable. [These features] all need to ‘ooze’ with Paris visual identity at a glance.

and some parts of Paris still haven’t changed to this day.  these are photographs of my own that I snapped of Notre Dame and the Catacombs only a few months ago.

IMG_5956DSC_0036(it’s rather difficult to take a photo in the dark without a tripod. FYI.)

DSC_0039© J. Harp Photography

I do believe this goes a long way in presenting to individuals what destinations actually look like.  granted, it does have a certain “other” look to it as it is a video game.  but I do believe it is a much closer representation of a travel destination rather than some of the highly edited photographs that individuals can view on other visual platforms, such as Instagram.


if you want to see more of how video games have developed in depicting the accuracy of their settings, have a look at this article from Mashable that shows how London has looked throughout the years in video games.


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