Life is 3D

Recently on a rainy afternoon, I was playing video games with my 3 year old son. On this day I had a surprising realization - 3D space is intuitive.

My son and I "played" Mario 64 prior to this date with me controlling the analog stick and Carter jumping. And because Carter had trouble running and jumping (and the size of the N64 controller provided a slight handicap) I thought we would go back in time. Back in time to the simpler game design created in 2D worlds. He and I tried to play Super Mario Bros. 1 & 3, classics with straightforward control schemes. At least they were straightforward to me since I grew up in the era of 2D gaming during the 3rd and 4th generations.

Run left. Push left. Run right. Push right. Simple, yes. Basic, yes. Intuitive, no. Carter was challenged to understand why that's all he could do. Navigating in a 3D space is a reflection of life. Carter moves the analog stick and Mario runs in the same directions Carter does. The artificial barriers created by technology no longer exist.

Life is 3D, gaming is 3D. Regardless of what world we play in, we play in 3D. And that opens up doors for us as educators...