Ah, the third dimension. So much more enticing than the first or second dimensions, those boring old horizontal and vertical axes. Axes of evil, more like. No, it’s the third dimension that gives things depth, makes us see how far back something goes. It’s the third dimension that really makes having more than one eye worthwhile.
Alright, that might be a bit strong. I mean, we’ve been viewing electronic games in the home for almost four decades using only two dimensions. Before that, for eighty years, we were viewing movies in only two dimensions.
Sure, there were the ill-advised attempts to introduce the third dimension to movies going back as far as 1903 but it has never really taken off, until recent mega-budget hits have forced it down our necks. Even before that, photographs have spent a happy hundred and eighty five year history stuck in the two dimensions that nature and science intended.
Even further back than that, by four hundred years, Gutenberg’s press didn’t require fancy expensive eyeglasses. No, a duo of dimensions were more than enough to bring an informational revolution to the poorer classes of Europe a good one hundred and fifty years before anybody had any notions of paddling westwards to ‘discover’ the Americas.
Well, yes, I know some of you are probably shouting at your screens right now pointing out that the great ancient civilisations of the world made many a bas relief or tridimensional sculpture. And you’re perfectly correct. But they were niche. They weren’t as popular as two dimensional artwork, were they? It stands to reason, if 3D reliefs and sculptures were so popular then how come they just left it all lying around? All the two dimensional art was hidden away. It’s probably still in an Egyptian safe right now, treasured beyond comparison.
I guess what I’m trying to point out, in among my overly laboured attempts at humour, is that the merits of three dimensional art and entertainment are yet to be firmly proven as superior to those utilising only two dimensions.
Now we have video games making another run for the 3D flag that makes our experiences more immersive, more involving. Or does it? Do you think we need 3D in all our games or are you happy to play in two dimensions and keep your face shamelessly free of ocular adornment?