QUESTION ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES
speaking almost purely of western developers:
-the 32-bit generation (PSX, SAT, 3DO, etc) was mostly focused on "realism," which often meant using as many digitized or prerendered photos/video as possible. very much related, FMV games were still a bit of a thing at the very beginning of it, too.
-one of the most commonly used aesthetics in popular games during the PS2/XBOX era was "terrible smog-encrusted slum," the kind of thing that inspired Blue Skies in Games. "realism," but much less like actual reality.
-one of the most commonly used aesthetics in the current gen was "gritty," which initially mostly seemed to mean "everything is bizarrely dirty" and "desaturated to the point of being nearly monochromatic." at least, if you weren't Bioshock. there's usually more colors being used now, but it's still intended to be overly "gritty." again, "realism," but also getting further from reality at the same time. too often, things just kind of look like a particularly crazy episode of Hoarders except somehow worse.
i realize all of these are stereotypes and don't represent the full spectrum. but it's certainly true of many, many AAA games (in relative terms to the era) from those respective generations. so with that in mind, what's going to be the next trendy design aesthetic for AAA games that we're going to eventually be mocking for being incredibly overused/trite?