It has been hard to believe the claims that 3D video game graphics do anything other than make video games look better. And maybe give you a headache.
But after some noodling with Nintendo's 3DS, a machine that lets you play games in 3D without the need to wear 3D glasses, we can finally show you the real, positive impact 3D has on video games.
In short, playing a game in 3D on the Nintendo 3DS lets you see more of the game. That's not some dreamy marketing statement designed to convince you that — whoa! — seeing deeper 3D versions of games makes them feel more expansive. No, the truth is that activating the 3D on the Nintendo 3DS causes a broader image of the game you're playing to appear on the system's upper screen, without sacrificing the scale or range of what you're seeing. You can indeed see more of the game you're playing, gaining not just the promised sense of depth, that might help you more accurately gauge distance, but a wider view.
It's more effective to show this to you, so, please, watch the video. The 3DS' broader playing field will become more clear.
If you can see more of your games, then, hopefully you can play your games better. Imagine the help of having expanded peripheral vision in a shooter, of a wider map in a strategy game or of a broader scene of a level in Super Mario. Turning that 3D on should help.
(To see another demonstration of this effect using still photography, check out the website 3DPorch.)