Thursday, January 08, 2009

3-D gaming

It will probably be a long time before 3-D gaming becomes mainstream. I doubt that news to you, because this new wave of 3-D tech and research is only beginning.

Every major Hollywood film publisher has at least one or two 3-D films in the works, and some reputable studios (like Spielberg's Dreamworks) have even spoke of making nothing but 3-D films soon. As Andrew Oliver at Blitz Games pointed out, it seems logical for game adaptations of 3-D films to also be 3-D. While such games might not be the next big thing, they are definitely coming.

Modern 3-D technology is far superior to the old tech. So it's unsurprising that a lot of people I've spoken to about it over the past couple years are not really excited about this movement among Hollywood directors. It's a technology that can be used poorly to make shoddy work, a tech that requires wisdom and imagination, so there are doubtlessly bad 3-D movies on the horizon. Some great directors believe all films will be 3-D eventually, but I think that's very debatable at this point.

Games. Yes, I know. I'm getting there slowly.

How many of you have been to an IMAX theater? I've been to several IMAX movies. They're impressive, but many people have trouble viewing them. IMAX presentations begin with a warning about nausea and point out the theater exits. People who are prone to motion sickness are especially vulnerable, but even people with stronger dispositions have trouble looking down into a canyon with startling scope and clarity.

So, finally, the point. The same problems will arise with 3-D games. The experience will be too intense for many gamers. Poor use of the technology by some will make 3-D a hard sell for better designers. But even when it's used masterfully, there will be questions of health, not to mention a whole new wave of concerns about interactive violence and mature content.

Anyway. What experiences have you had with 3-D technology? Did you enjoy it? Do the glasses bother you? Do you get disoriented? I'm looking forward to the 3-D shift, but I expect it will be many years before it hits television broadcasting or TV sales, despite Hollywood's apparent interests.


  1. Someone at work mentined that they'd seen a 3-D TV being demo'd - I didn't take much notice of what he said. Have you seen anything like this yet?

  2. Microsoft apparently plans to make the 360 3-D compatible soon.


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