Give Thanks, For 3D
I readily admit that I am that bastard in your family that is vehemently opposed to saying what we’re thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner. For some reason I’m never expecting it and I hate being put on the spot in front of a small group; with all their judgmental eyes and their knowing me and what not. Not to mention, I hate the concept of taking one day out of the year to actually show you’re thankful for things. Quite being a dick and tell people that you’re glad they’re around.
Now that you know my disdain for the tradition and my general negative attitude towards everything ever, let’s get on with this shindig. Because my triumphant and glorious return to writing for Schmamers just wouldn’t be the same if I weren’t a goddamn Grinch.
I am thankful for so very many things in gaming. Gaming has been my constant companion since my parents ill-fated decision to buy me a Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember being enamored with a world not my own. Mushrooms with feet? How absurd and otherworldly. I must have more. (I was a fucking eloquent child, was I not?) A Paperboy who just wants to get his job done but gets hit by run-away lawnmowers? Genius. I loved those gloriously side-scrolling games enough already. And then something magical happened. The Nintendo 64 came along.
Can it be? It’s not possible. 3D graphics in a video game? Praise be to the video game gods, it is true! The possibilities are endless now and not just because animated porn could take a giant leap forward. No longer were we relegated to two dimensions. Entire worlds were ours to create. Those mushrooms could now roam around open worlds. The Paperboy doesn’t have to jump over a dog because the extra dimension allows him to just go around. The third dimension! Savior of paperboys everywhere! There was much rejoicing.
Super Mario 64 was so insanely addictive. Exploring a castle. Jumping in and out of pictures. And holy fucking balls the camera rotates around me. Insanity! Insanity, I tell you! The 64 also gave us the holiest of holy grails, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I could ride a horse A HORSE through the world. In, around, on, over, under ON A GODDAMNED HORSE.
Gaming became so much more than we ever thought it could be when our favorite characters entered the third dimension. That’s not to say that side-scrollers don’t have a place. They most certainly do and they’re fun as hell. But I feel like we take the dimension we live in for granted. Depth. Depth made gaming great. Every time I play an Elder Scrolls or Bioshock I say a silent little “Thank you” to depth.
Put your depth inside of me. Rub your depth all over me. Spray your depth on my face. Just don’t take your depth away from me.
Look. I don’t know if I’m most thankful for 3D, the Nintendo 64, open world games, or raspberry jam but I do know they’re all good and you should be damn thankful for them too.
Break out the gaming system this holiday season, play with family, marvel at “Oh gods, dem graphics” and, eat some cookies with raspberry filling.
Happy Thanksgiving from Central Texas, ya’ll!