Film critic Roger Ebert sometimes uses his powers for bad. But this time he is not.
In an editorial in Newsweek, Ebert explains why he hates 3D. Ebert being Ebert, his argument is directed at films, but with the PS3 getting 3D and Nintendo rolling out its own 3D portable game device, the Nintendo 3DS, many of what he says holds true for video games as well. Here are some highlights:
• "When you look at a 2-D movie, it's already in 3-D as far as your mind is concerned... Our minds use the principle of perspective to provide the third dimension. Adding one artificially can make the illusion less convincing."
• "Some 3-D consists of only separating the visual planes, so that some objects float above others, but everything is still in 2-D. We notice this. We shouldn't."
• "In a just-published article, Consumer Reports says about 15 percent of the moviegoing audience experiences headache and eyestrain during 3-D movies."
• "What Hollywood needs is a 'premium' experience that is obviously, dramatically better than anything at home, suitable for films aimed at all ages, and worth a surcharge."
Ebert also mentions how 3D creates a demand for 3D projectors. And while Ebert is not against 3D as an option, he does offer a good argument as to why it should not be de rigueur for all films.
While all platform holders releasing motion sensing controls, 3D is the next logical step for video games. But there is something about the flatness that the traditional viewing offers — much like a painting. There is no space, but an illusion of space is created and you the viewer are sucked into the game or movie world. But with 3D, that world comes pouring into your lap.
The past several years have been about HD. Well, we are all mostly HD. The HD era has arrived. And it looks great! Why not... enjoy it? Why must we start racing towards 3D? Do we really have to buy new televisions?
The answer is short, and it is simple: Money. Like Ebert, I am not against 3D. However, I don't see it as the end all for movies, and it certainly is not that for video games.