The slightly perverse thing is that, multiple times while playing the latest greatest GPU melting games, I've fervently wished that I could just replace some of the motion captured high polygon textured anti-aliased objects (in their latest fetching shade of Realism Brown), with a minimal blip signifying all of their inherent meaningful data (i.e usually almost none). I pine for Mechwarrior's tactical wireframe display mode.
The lump of grey jelly in my skull has to use dedicated hardware to filter out all that expensive noise to do just that, and in the days they cut out this middleware you could hit the player with massive amounts of pure metadata and make a really satisfying game cheaply. Yum.
Never played much nethack (nettrek tho..). My wizards kitten went splat at the bottom of a pit-trap, after obediently following its master, and my dwarf starved to death by spending too much time mining for gems :-)