Monday, May 24, 2010

Red Dead surprise

As I was playing Red Dead Redemption today, I happened across a woman crying beside a dead man. By his limp hand was a revolver. The game only gives players a short amount of time to respond to strangers in need. It seemed I had missed my opportunity to help this man fight off bandits. He had failed to defend himself and died.

I stood for a few seconds watching the woman cry, and I turned away. Then I heard a gunshot. I spun back around, thinking it was a trick (like previous ploys NPCs had used on me) -- the woman must have killed the man and then pretended to be grieving so I would let down my guard. But no, the woman was dead. She had indeed been grieving, and now she had committed suicide with her fallen husband's revolver.

Kudos to Rockstar for creating a very memorable game-story experience.

Monday, May 17, 2010

3-D fails

I've seen two films with the new 3-D technology now: Avatar and Clash of the Titans (the 1981 version's better). And I, along with many others I've spoken to, am not thrilled by the 3-D. Though I appreciate the fresh experiences it provides, I much prefer traditional HD.

The problem is clarity. It seems the new 3-D tech creates tunnel vision, blurring all but the small part of the movie screen one is focused on. One might argue that this mimics natural vision, but the effect is not noticed with natural vision. It's simply a crisper picture and more pleasant experience for many, if not most viewers, without 3-D.

So, while I was cautiously excited about the new tech before it was demonstrated, I'm now hoping gaming will avoid the fad.

But there is an alternative to explore. Why not eliminate TV screens altogether and project visuals directly to the glasses?

It would make less sense for movies than for games, since movies rely on tighter control of what the audience is seeing at any given moment. But for games, think of all you could do with that extra joystick on the controller if looking in a 3-D environment was controlled by the player turning and tilting his head. And might it feel more immersive? A vestibular system in the glasses' rims could detect tilt.

I'm not impressed by the latest 3-D tech, but there are still plenty of viewing options to explore.

P.S. Yes, I plan on blogging again, though probably not with the same frequency as before.