The technology that allows us to perceive depth on the 3DS top screen is easy to take for granted, or even to dismiss as a gimmick. But for George Kokoris, a senior designer at Rare Ltd., the handheld granted him his first taste of what most of us can view naturally every day.
Kokoris is stereoblind, unable to perceive depth. Both of his eyes function but he is slightly cross-eyed, leaving his lines of sight to diverge about a foot away from his face; as he puts it himself, "I have double vision all the time."
[T]here I was, holding this little chunk of plastic and silicon in my hands, tears streaming down my face because I had never known it was possible for reality to look this way—for things to look as solid as they feel. I couldn't look away. I got a 3DS of my own the next day, and later replaced it with an XL. I revisited Hyrule in Ocarina of Time 3D, stopping and staring at every piece of architecture. I still spend more time running aimlessly through Super Mario 3D Land's gorgeous environments than I do trying to beat the game.
Wouldn't anyone, if it were the only place where things had volume?
The team behind the design of the 3DS may never have considered their technology could have such a powerful effect, but you never know what a “gimmick” to some can truly mean to the right person.
Has a game or system ever brought a meaningful experience like this to you or someone you know? Feel free to share in the comments.