Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3D Gaming First Hand

My uncle owns a high end A/V store complete with a full living room display containing a massive 3D TV. After lots of begging and negotiating, yours truly was allowed to do a little gaming. I played Black Ops on Xbox for three hours in Stereoscopic 3D. No more speculation. No more assumptions. Here is what's up.  

Ready ? Its f**king difficult. Like, really f**king difficult. I was playing the solo campaign on normal and having some legit trouble. The first noticeable problem was where to sit. The whole idea of 3D is to make the experience more engaging; to really engross the viewer in what is going on. But you have to sit uncomfortably close to get that sensation. With a video game where enemies are coming out of all corners of the screen, sitting four feet from a 60" TV is not comfortable.

After about five minutes of sitting up close, I backed up to 7 or 8 feet away. It still took me around ten minutes to get used to the additional dimension and find my groove. Even then, I had problems. It was hard to find and keep my eye on the targets, the
crosshairs, the HUD, everything. I did a little research and found the root of my problem. The eyes, and more importantly the brain, take three times longer to recognize an object in 3D than in 2D when its on a screen.  When the images are forced out of alignment (that's how they create 3D), your brain has to fight to put the images back together. When the brain is done auto-correcting, you have a picture in all its 3D glory.

Your brain hates this.
This whole process takes an absolutely miniscule amount of time. But the increase in brain activity and work that must be done is still three times what it should normally be. So for the entire three hours of gaming, I struggled. My brain was not used to seeing 3D. And since it was my first time playing, I didn't know what would be different. Would the background be extra deep ? Would text and subtitle reach out ? Guns, bullets, HUDS, cut scenes, all of it unpredictable.

The biggest question I had about 3D gaming was answered. Will this give me eye strain or headaches ? Yes. After three hours, I felt mentally exhausted.
I didn't want to look at another screen all day. Three hours may seem like a lot for some. After all, warnings encourage us to take frequent breaks while gaming. But I like to spend eight or more hours a day during the weekends playing video games. My game sessions would look like this: ten minutes getting used to 3D; 50 more minutes playing; take a 10-15 minute break; come back and spend another ten minutes getting my eyes and brain to readjust; game for 50 minutes; etc. Not practical.

So, lets disregard the fact that 3D is completely over-priced.
Lets pretend those dorky-ass glasses are actually comfortable and don't look hella dumb. And we will suspend knowledge that many people can't even see 3D (Lindsey). Forgetting all those other factors, I did not like Black Ops in 3D. It looked kinda cool, like a neat trick. But for those of us that are a little more hardcore and spend some serious time playing these games, 3D just isn't going to work... Yet.

You will never look as good as her at 3am in your sweatpants and 3D glasses

1 comment:

Linz said...

Suck it, 3D gaming! (don't tell the 3DS i said that.)