Resolution

Authored by: Mark J. P. Wolf

The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533324
eBook ISBN: 9780203114261
Adobe ISBN: 9781136290510

10.4324/9780203114261.ch7

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Abstract

The concept of resolution is used in all digital media, and is therefore applicable to video games. Resolution refers to the number of discrete and indivisible units (such as pixels, frames, available colors, polygons, or samples) used to represent (or resolve) a portion of an analog spectrum, in particular, those of space, time, color, geometry, or sound, respectively. Due to memory limitations, processing speed, and screen and speaker capabilities, these types of resolution are always limited in some way, requiring graphic designers, sound designers, and game designers to take them into consideration, especially in projects with more restrictive limitations regarding resolution. When there is insufficient resolution in any of these areas, some type of artifacting occurs, which disrupts the smoothness of the transitions between the discrete units involved, revealing the borders or gaps between them, which often disrupts continuity and calls attention to the lack of resolution. As such, attention to the boundaries of individual units is generally considered undesirable, since this usually results in what is considered a reduction in quality of the final output, requiring techniques to smooth over these gaps or boundaries and restore smoothness to the final output.

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