Top

3-D Gaming Lacks Depth

I’m going to say it, I really don’t want 3-D gaming to be a thing.

I’m going to admit that it already is and there’s no stopping the fact.

There are too many companies with their hands far too deep in the 3-D market’s pockets to pull out now. I can rant and rave on how it wont be successful, but that wont matter. They’ve invested so much at this point that it has to work. And if it doesn’t, you better god damn well bet they’re going to try and force it to.

But that’s not the point, I’ve accepted our fate. I just don’t like it. In fact, I despise it. What was it that convinced the industry that bringing the game into the real world would enhance how emotionally involved someone is in their product? Because it doesn’t. Once you start adding more stuff on the exterior of a game system, you start to distract the player, further taking away their focus from your game. In turn, ruining the “immersion” that PR people talk about so much.

Yeah, immersion, this thing or whatever.

I have the same problem with motion controls as I do with 3-D. Their problems are inherently the same. Motion controls have some good about them, and with smart game design they can actually be fun. But most of the time they just get in the way. They add another barrier to me and the experience. When I’m playing a game with motion control I never feel like I’m really “inside the world”. I feel like I’m waving a plastic remote in front of my television. Me having to physically exert myself reminds me that I am playing a video game. It doesn’t immerse, it puts emphasis on the real world more so. And this is how I see 3-D gaming. If the living room experience is anything like the experience I’ve had in theaters, then it’s going to be a lot of eyestrain tacked on with scenes that really didn’t need to be 3-D in the first place.

I also don’t see 3-D gaming having many practical uses. I mean, like I mentioned before, I wouldn’t mind having it around once in a while, but it’s something that I don’t want to have nagging at me all the time. If you think about it, watching something in 3-D isn’t ALL that different from its counterpart 2-D image. It pops out at you a bit and that’s fun and quirky, but it doesn’t give the viewer enough to make them not want to go back to 2-D. It offers too little to justify the cost on the side of the consumer. The average consumer isn’t willing to pay a sum of $5000 for a needless luxury. It’s not essential to experience hence it doesn’t justify the cost. I would want someone to prove to me that I need 3-D to spend the cash on the t.v. sets. That’s to assume that at some point someone will figure out a revolutionary way to use it that demands we all have a a pair of glasses in our house from now on. Maybe that will be the case some day.

Avatar didn't sell me on 3-D. I know, you're shocked right?

The bigger issue here is that, in terms of games, this is an example of the industry going in the wrong direction with design. Games haven’t grown enough to warrant our new addition to its development. There currently is too much improvement that we can make internally to have new issues, like designing 3-D visuals, to come into the picture (Yes, pun intended). Why focus on this when we could be making advances on in-game engines, or just our basic design philosophies? Games are still in their infancy and have plenty room for tweaking and fixing. We should focus on the more pressing matters and make games better to play rather than watch. People instantly assume that fancy new tech means progress when that’s not actually the case. Just because we can make technological improvements doesn’t mean that we need to. Some things have their place, but they need to be justified.

Alan Lightman wrote an essay (Titled "Progress") on how we need to justify our technological advances

And 3-D does actually have some place, and it possibly might have some positive contributions to the industry too. I don’t deny that. But the promise, currently, is uninspiring. Hearing, “It’ll look really cool to play Kid Icarus, flying through the air in 3-D”, and other arguments of the same sort from every developer is not something that’s filling me with the utmost confidence. Our plans for aren’t appearing to be beneficial to anyone. This so far is nothing but a big waste of time and money. And that’s a damn shame since that money could be put into better places. As it is, I don’t want to play games in 3-D for any reason, and no one has shown me why I should. Once someone can give me a solid reason as to how this needs to be the new standard for video games, Ill buy it. But for now, it’s a bunch of garbage that doesn’t need to exist in our current state of game design.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • UltimateSin

    I don’t think 3D will be become a thing in gaming, especially for consoles considering the amount of money you have to pay to be able to play in 3D.

  • ppTheMart

    I have to disagree.

    Did you get any hands on time with the PS3 3D? It’s incredible. It completely changed my mind. Add that with my time spent at Best Buy in front of the new Sony 3d screens, and it’s only a matter of time for me to buy one. Brilliant, no other words.

    A pre-alpha game like killzone 3 still managed to wow me with 3D. There is no explaining the sensation. You are truly immersed in a game when the gun feels like it is in front of you, and the bullets are narrowly hitting you in 3D space. Remarkable.

    • I still remain reserved on the concept. I don’t deny that it might work. I just want to see more uses of 3-D in gameplay then just having a “palette swap” of sorts.

      I don’t know, again, it probably will wow me the first time I see it. I just don’t like the idea of 3-D gaming trying to be the new standard.

  • PowerGreen

    I do agree that Kinect failed though. Is that what you based it off?

    Going more casual than the wii, and having so much lag and very little precision does ruin it. However it suffers from the same problems that the original hardware they cloned had (PS2 EyeToy), too casual.

    The Wii is coming into stride and the PS3 nailed it our of the park with the Move. I suggest using those.

    • It’s not really that motion controls don’t work, it’s just the concept is lost on me. I wanted to go more in depth on why but it was kind of off-topic.

      See, I like the controller because it works with everything and with a certain level of ease. I’m conformable with it. I understand why people like it, but I don’t see why I would want it over a controller. It hasn’t enhanced the experience for me all that much.

  • mik

    “If you think about it, watching something in HD isn’t ALL that different from its counterpart SD image. It pops out at you a bit and that’s fun and quirky, but it doesn’t give the viewer enough to make them never want to go back to SD. It offers too little to justify the cost on the side of the consumer. The average consumer isn’t willing to pay a sum of $5000 for a needless luxury. It’s not essential to experience hence it doesn’t justify the cost. I would want someone to prove to me that I need HD to spend the cash on the t.v. sets. That’s to assume that at some point, someone will figure out a revolutionary way to use it that demands we all have an HDTV in our house from now on. Maybe that will be the case some day.

    The bigger issue here is that, in terms of games, this is an example of the industry going in the wrong direction with design. Games haven’t grown enough to warrant our new addition to its development. There currently is too much improvement that we can make internally to have new issues, like designing HD visuals, to come into the picture (Yes, pun intended). Why focus on this when we could be making advances on in-game engines, or just our basic design philosophies? Games are still in their infancy and have plenty room for tweaking and fixing. We should focus on the more pressing matters and make games better to play rather than watch. People instantly assume that fancy new tech means progress when that’s not actually the case. Just because we can make technological improvements doesn’t mean that we need to. Some things have their place, but they need to be justified.”

    etc.

    • I see what you did there. And yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that 3-D will turn out the same way. Like I said, I accept our fate, I don’t like it but I can learn I suppose.

  • Elveone

    Well, as it is over 70% of the game industry is based on selling eyecandy so 3-D is the next natural evolutionary step on that sinister path. No ona cares if you like it or not and no one cares if you can afford it or not – it will happen and it will kick you in the ass if you don’t want it to. I just hope it won’t take over completely cause that will be a shame.

    The bad part about all of this is that most of the gamers are pretty shortsighted. Yeah, of course it will look amazing at the beginning but soon it will be just a thing – one that you don’t even notice. It is the same thing as seeing fireworks for the first time – pretty! Then imagine looking at fireworks every damn night for four hours. Yeah, it is like that.

    So far the only gameplay improvement that can be implemented by the 3-D effect is actually putting something in the picture that can be seen clearly only if you actually close one of your eyes and this is a complete gimmick.

  • Kilanro

    Ever try playing Mario 64 and try and jump on a stump with the camera flat against the ground? It’s hard to do because you can’t judge the depth well. 3D fixes this nicely.

    Before someone from a nintendo interview pointed this out I totally agreed with your points but now I can clearly see the benefits. I still agree with you that it’s too expensive though.

  • Pingback: Two New Portal Demo Videos | Platform Nation()