Sections

Professor Sharkey's Bad Game Science: Exactly How Big Are Videogame Worlds?

How big are video game worlds, really? Professor Sharkey investigates.

Article by Scott Sharkey, .

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 45

  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #1 Captain-Gonru 3 years ago
    Interesting. Though, next time, could you make it a bit more difficult to read? I don't think my eye strain is permanent yet.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for OctoRocket #2 OctoRocket 3 years ago
    Neat comparison. It always surprises me when I see how small game worlds really are. GTA San Andreas with the fog turned off shows that the entire map is this little thing, with the game building a false sense of scale.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Kirinn #3 Kirinn 3 years ago
    The reactions box isn't working for me right now, so I shall comment the reaction instead:

    Fantastic
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kingaelfric #4 kingaelfric 3 years ago
    Great article. More Sharkey, ALWAYS. I would, however, like to point out one oversight. If we assume that Pac-Man is 6.0221413 x 10^23 km tall, then the mazes from Namco's arcade classic are far and away the largest video game worlds.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Daikaiju #5 Daikaiju 3 years ago
    I always accept game worlds as a sort of shorthand version.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for docexe #6 docexe 3 years ago
    Interesting comparison. It's surprising to see how small these worlds truly are, but then again, videogames are ultimately a computer simulation. Like a magic trick of sorts, it's about creating the illusion of scale and size within these worlds.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for TotalHenshin #7 TotalHenshin 3 years ago
    @kingaelfric Where does that number come from?

    Glad to see more Sharkey on the site!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Da_Beerman #8 Da_Beerman 3 years ago
    someone should make a 1080p version of Zelda where the entire world map is one screen, that'd be amusing.

    fun fact: panau is smaller than Hong Kong by 100 km, meaning those airplanes are pretty slow...Edited September 2014 by Da_Beerman
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kingaelfric #9 kingaelfric 3 years ago
    @TotalHenshin -- I just eyeballed Pac-Man for size.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pdubb #10 pdubb 3 years ago
    Always wondered how "big" the GTA cities were in relation to real cities.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for percymercado86 #11 percymercado86 3 years ago
    Deleted October 2014 by jeremy.parish
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pashaveliki #12 pashaveliki 3 years ago
    OH YES!
    Sharkey is back!
    Please don't leave us again.
    (back to listening to old Snarky Sharkey episodes of Retronauts)
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Scimarad #13 Scimarad 3 years ago
    I think that just goes to show that it's more important how big a game world feels.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for hal9k #14 hal9k 3 years ago
    @kingaelfric Good post! You made me want to start doing some math to illustrate just how big Avogadro's number (NA = about 6.02*10^23, defined as the number of atoms in 12 g of Carbon-12) really is.

    The speed of light is about 3*10^8 m/s, so a light year is about 9.5*10^12 km. Therefore, if Pac-Man had a diameter of 6.02*10^23 km, his diameter would be 6.4*10^10 or 64 billion light years.

    In comparison, the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter. As far as I can tell, the diameter of the observable universe is estimated to be 93 billion light years. This is weird, because the universe is only estimated to be a little less than 14 billion years old, so you'd think we could only observe light that far out. But supposedly spacetime itself can expand faster than the speed of light and did so shortly after the Big Bang, during something called the inflationary epoch, and other stuff that's over my head.

    Anyway, Pac-Man would occupy about 2/3 of the universe, which leads to some weird cosmic implications for the game. Pac-Man is all, and all is Pac-Man. Or Ms. Pac-Man, depending on one's affinity for bows.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for nickn #15 nickn 3 years ago
    Awesome article, it's things like this that I come to Usgamer for.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Damman #16 Damman 3 years ago
    @kingaelfric Are you implying that a Pac-man board is actually a macro representation of the a galaxy, and Pac himself is a Galactus style planet muncher?
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for JohnnyBarnstorm #17 JohnnyBarnstorm 3 years ago
    Man. Sharkey needs to make a coffee table book like this. I love it.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for sp-aceca-se #18 sp-aceca-se 3 years ago
    Yay! More proof that Sharkey still lives! Keep it coming.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for dreamnaut #19 dreamnaut 3 years ago
    Love hearing from Sharkey, even if it is only periodically.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Damman #20 Damman 3 years ago
    I would love to see more game worlds inhibit smaller types of places built to scale. Rather than making a whole city that's the size of a neighborhood, build just a fully realized neighborhood where the whole game takes place. Bully is a game that comes to mind where the school campus and town really seemed to be realistically proportioned.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for lethalsilicong5 #21 lethalsilicong5 3 years ago
    good article sharkey!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #22 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    it was a brilliant opportunity to visit this sort of site and I am cheerful to know. much thanks to you such a great amount for allowing us to have this open door.. Tobacco
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #23 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    Truly an incredible expansion. I have perused this magnificent post. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing data about it. I truly like that. Much obliged so parcel for your assemble. lovetraction lines
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #24 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    More often than not I don't make remarks on sites, however I'd like to say this article truly constrained me to do as such. Truly decent post! laundry pickup nyc
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #25 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    Brilliant site! I discovered it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any proposals on the most proficient method to get recorded in Yahoo News? I've been striving for some time however I never appear to arrive! Welcome it. amsterdam escorts
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #26 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    I as of late ran over your online journal and have been perusing along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I don't comprehend what to say with the exception of that I have appreciated perusing. Pleasant site, I will continue going by this online journal all the time. Thomas Frank Paquin
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #27 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    I know your aptitude on this. I should say we ought to have an online discourse on this. Composing just remarks will close the talk straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages from this data. The Woman men adore
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEO-TECH #28 SEO-TECH 2 months ago
    here at Something Elegant, we have seen our customer base double.  In order to keep your buyers interested, you need to continue adding to your product range and keep up to date with the latest trends. Fashion jewelry is a fluid industry; always evolving and giving rise to new fads and trends. Buyers will be on the lookout for these. In order to make sure you have these new hot items in stock, you need to know about the trends even before the most devout fashionistas! rx online
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #29 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    much appreciated this is great web journal. duratrans
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #30 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    Awesome post, you have pointed out some incredible focuses, I also trust this is an exceptionally eminent site. citizen watch
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #31 pubasali 2 months ago
    I have been looking at a couple of your stories and i can state really well done. I will bookmark your website ключарски услуги София
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEO-TECH #32 SEO-TECH 2 months ago
    Your site is truly cool and this is an awesome rousing article. Much obliged to you to such an extent. en iyi online casinolar
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEO-TECH #33 SEO-TECH 2 months ago
    Pleasant to be going to your web journal yet again, it has been months for me. Well this article ive been sat tight for accordingly long. i need this article to complete my task inside of the staff, and it has same theme together with your article. Much appreciated, pleasant offer. free tour estocolmo
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #34 Challengeuser 2 months ago
    I know your aptitude on this. I should say we ought to have an online discourse on this. Composing just remarks will close the talk straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages from this data. COMINT
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #35 Challengeuser A month ago
    Great article, much obliged for assembling this! This is clearly one incredible post. A debt of gratitude is in order for the important data and bits of knowledge you have so given here. Global Forwarders
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #36 Challengeuser A month ago
    Amazing article! I need individuals to know exactly how great this data is in your article. It's fascinating, convincing substance. Your perspectives are much like my own particular concerning this subjec womens apparel
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #37 Challengeuser A month ago
    I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so fast. amsterdam escorts
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #38 pubasali A month ago
    I take in some new stuff from it as well, a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your data. Hardwood flooring cost in Toronto
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #39 pubasali A month ago
    This is my first time i visit here. I discovered such a large number of fascinating stuff in your online journal particularly its dialog. From the huge amounts of remarks on your articles, I figure I am by all account not the only one having all the satisfaction here! keep doing awesome денонощен ключар
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #40 pubasali A month ago
    Much thanks to you a cluster for offering this to every one of us you really acknowledge what you are discussing! Bookmarked. If you don't mind likewise look for guidance from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us! LOL RP Card Buying Tips
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #41 pubasali A month ago
    If you are looking for a local flooring expert, Flooring Experts Plus, one of the top rated flooring installation contractors, provides a wide range of flooring services from installing unfinished hardwood flooring to refinishing or oak hardwood flooring repairs! Fill the form or call us now to get your free written price estimate now! Check out our website and find out how to calculate the cost of hardwood flooring installation per sqft. hardwood installation cost per square foot
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #42 pubasali A month ago
    How much can Invisalign Cost? The usual Invisalign cost is little expensive than dental braces but you will surely love the final result at the end. The average cost associated with this method range from $3,500 to $8,000. Your dentist will guide you during your initial visit. Invsialign Braces
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #43 pubasali A month ago
    Your work is great and I value you and bouncing for some more enlightening posts. Much obliged to you for sharing extraordinary data to us. designer suit
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for pubasali #44 pubasali 27 days ago
    To do that, Valenzuela urged members of the Villa de Paz community to use the course more. FIFA Mobile Information
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEO-TECH #45 SEO-TECH 25 days ago
    Pleasant to be going to your site once more, it has been months for me. Well this article i"ve been sat tight for so long. I require this article to finish my task in the school, and it has same theme with your article. Much appreciated, incredible offer. segwaystockholmairwheel.se
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Challengeuser #46 Challengeuser 18 days ago
    You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!
    maillot de bain bresilien femme
    Sign in to Reply

Comments

Close