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3D and Gaming


“And a game of war among youngsters during a period of recreation, or a game of robbers-that too, is a sort of nascent art, an emerging need for art in the young soul, and these games are sometimes even better conceived than theater performances, with the only difference that people go to the theater to look at the actors, and here young people are themselves the actors. But it’s only natural”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Yesterday I went to Best Buy to purchase a video game. I’ve been carrying some gift cards in my wallet since the holidays and it was time I infused money back to the gaming economy.

I hadn’t made up my mind what game I wanted, but as I approached the video game section I saw a 3D TV with a pair of 3D glasses and two controllers. On display in the PS3 was MLB the Show 11. A brother and sister were playing and the older brother was desperately trying to teach his sister how to hit the ball. “This sucks”, she muttered as she couldn’t figure out the timing on her swing.

I wanted desperately to put the glasses on and take a look for myself however, it appeared as if they were going to be a while as their parents shopped for electronics in peace.

I decided to peruse the games section to see if I finally make up my mind on which game to buy. There was BulletStorm and Killzone 3. I heard both games are great, but I wanted to take some time off from the shooter category as it seems the industry is inundated with this type of game. I saw that Final Fantasy XI was now dropped to only 29 dollars. I always loved this game but didn’t have time to play it before; but I decided against this purchase because I wanted something recent.

As I go through the isle of PlayStation games and then Xbox and Wii, nothing stands out as worthy.  As I make the turn back to the 3D TV it appears to be open, but as I turn the corner I see a small boy perhaps age 4 or 5 and he has the glasses on and appears to be in full game mode with hands clutched to the controller and tongue sticking out in obvious concentration.

I thought I could just take a peak of the game so I went for the glasses and left the controller alone because I didn’t want to ruin his gaming experience.  As I reached for the glasses he orders me, “Get…Play…Us”.  He pointed at the controller and he was frustrated because he was playing the 2 player game the previous duo were playing and he was forced to control both the batter and pitcher.  “Oh, you want me to play?” I say.  I grab the controller and I was Tim Lincecum.  He was the Padres.

3D Glasses

The child beckoned me to pick up the controller and play a game of baseball.

At first the 3D effect looked distorted, similar to how it looked without the glasses. I couldn’t tell if I had defective glasses or if my eyes were defective.  I let the pitch go and Lincecum threw a 93 MPH fast ball to the lower left corner and it hit the dirt before it even crossed home plate.  I was trying to lob it for the small child, but I missed my target and he swung and missed.  The boy took off his glasses angrily and left.

I then proceeded to strike out the batter myself so I can check out the effects. I was amazed at how the ball looked coming at me in 3D.  The 3D effect was evident while observing the pitcher in between pitches as the view of the game is from the catcher’s view point.  You can see far off in the distance, the fans and the outfielders, but during this particular screen shot your focus is on the ball.  It was pure fascination when I saw the ball coming out of the hand in the 3D realm.  In previous baseball simulators, sometimes it is hard to judge when the pitch is a ball or a strike so gamers swing at anything, but with 3D, it seemed a little better to judge the ball movement.

I thought 3D TV was going to be a fad, and it very well could be, but once the price goes down, I really wouldn’t mind spending some gaming time playing baseball indoors as it rains outside.  It’s not exactly “real” baseball but with the 3D use, the simulation just got a little more interesting.

I ended up purchasing Dragon Age 2 but on my mind the rest of the night, I was thinking of ways I can get my hands on a 3D TV for my gaming lair.  Also, I sure hope that toddler works on his batter’s eye because he was really reaching out of the strike zone.

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