I would say graphics don’t HAVE to matter and are just one aspect of a game. Personally, I’d rather the game focus on actually being fun first, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be pretty, either. It can definitely add to the experience in a big way, if done correctly.
I’ll just say this: I’ve enjoyed every fun game I’ve played whether it’s ugly or pretty, but I’ve never enjoyed a pretty game that was not fun.
While your situation turned out fairly well, I’m not so sure I would be so dismissive. First of all, a lot of teenagers can be incredibly violent criminals for incredibly petty reasons. If some kid started threatening my family (or girlfriend), I’d be pretty scared too. I mean, who knows who these people really are? Especially when it’s just a FLOOD of abuse from a horde who only encourage each other and their behavior?
Not to mention that, because of the internet, these assholes all can easily find each other, form a mob, exchange information on the victim including information on their family, phone numbers, bank accounts, etc. The internet changed everything in this regard.