Ultimately, the average videogame in 2007 is so dull and brown and boring to the eyes because the industry, lest we forget, is still in its infancy. Like a sulky teenager, it's currently pulling its britches up to its chest and thumbing its nose at anything that even vaguely resembles "kid's stuff," because it's worried about how the older audiences perceive it. This mindset has trickled from the boardroom flow charts into the minds of the general public. The amount of people we know who received a hard time from games store staff for buying Pokémon Diamond/Pearl is astonishing, and just goes to show that the video game industry has a lot of growing up to do from top to bottom.
But while there's certainly a time and a place for realism in games (the big flashing power-ups in latter-day Medal of Honors are nothing short of inane), this insatiable thirst for realistic game worlds is a sacred cow. Turning to other consoles for an example, we can see that consumers are already getting tired of the realism treadmill. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the most well-regarded of the GTAs, deserves its status in no small part to its flamboyantly gaudy purpley-pink colour palette, which made Vice City an absolute pleasure to cruise around in compared to dull old greeny-greeny-green San Andreas. The Xbox 360's Crackdown took things even further, giving us superhuman powers that allowed us to throw cars, all while wrapped up in a retina-caressing comic book style. Will the "gritty," "realistic" (both bywords for "brown") GTA IV look dull and conservative in comparison?