Why Sword Fighting In Video Games Is Nothing Like The Real Thing

December 14, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Sword fighting is a staple of video games these days. Yet according to Rick Lane the games are doing it wrong:

  • Video games mostly operate in a binary world. You press a button and it leads to a specific action. Sword fighting is more fluid than that and that complexity can’t be captured by buttons.
  • In games you can normally either parry or attack. But in real battles it’s possible to both parry and attack in the same stroke.
  • Motion control offers more hope. But they face the problem of not providing feedback. In real life if you swing your blade across and it gets blocked, your stroke is obstructed. With a motion controller there’s nothing to stop your arm from following through with the motion.
  • Even if we could solve controls, the secrets of medieval sword fighting are also hard to recover. They are written in ancient languages with nuanced meanings that are difficult for modern scholars to decipher. We just don’t know how to sword fight in the right way anymore.
  • What we do know about sword fighting though can take years to master. And video games have to be accessible enough so that anybody can pick up the technique.
  • Despite all the issues, fighting dragons or gargoyles isn’t realistic either. Gamers can take solace in the fact that nobody has developed a real world technique to fight fire breathing creatures. There’s no reason to think that our games do it any better or worse than how it should be done.

Read more about sword fighting in video games over here.

Source: IGN