Physics are the same way. Games have had to avoid many aspects of physics due to their complexity and inability to process in a real time game. True geometric shattering, fluid dynamics, accurate deformation of models, and countless other aspects of physics remain untouched due to the complexity of modelling them in real time. CPU's are not up to the task of all that. The only thing that keeps current CPUs ability to handle it is by developers careful use of only specific aspects of physics. We've only scratched the surface of physics in games. More realistic collision responses by material types, vehicles, various joint types are but a small portion of what can be done with physics. Even within those domains the implementations in games is simplified quite a bit.
You just proved my point. Physics in games
equates to basic acceleration do to gravity, minor implementations of friction, and "ragdoll" effects. At the rate at which physics in games is evolving (read: not really evolving) it will be a lllooonnngggg time before substantial, realistic physics implementations are in place.
Of course that could just be because physics in games is relatively new and has yet to really mature. Obviously graphics in games have been able to do that since the days of Zork.
But I still don't foresee a physics implementation with enough muscle to require anything more than maybe another expendable core on my CPU.
Steam + PSN: PHJF