3-D glasses could improve couch co-op

You know what would improve their co-op experience? 3-D glasses. (Or less kill-stealing.)

Sony has just filed a patent that will help couch co-op players enjoy their gaming experiences way more. Co-Optimus tipped me off on this one:

The nature of a stereoscopic 3D television is such in that it produces two images at separate frequencies - one for each eye. A pair of stereoscopic glasses are fashioned to filter those frequencies accordingly. Now, imagine what would happen if one person was wearing a pair of A-frequency glasses, and the other was wearing a pair of B-frequency glasses: each would get a separate 2D image. If game developers can get on board with this, splitscreen could be a non-issue in the long as you're willing to wear some funky shades.

I admit, I don't like 3-D TV's price tag. I particularly dislike the price tag of the glasses; they also sound uncomfortable, and they make you look goofier than Kid Vid. If you only buy a limited number of pairs to save money, then you risk looking obnoxious and selfish. How many pairs should anyone be socially expected to buy? For now, the answer is still zero.

And yet: I love couch co-op, and -- for example -- I'm fed up with those goddamn Borderlands menu screens. I can't find a screenshot or video anywhere of this phenomenon, but anyone who's played the game couch co-op style knows what I'm talking about. The menus just do not fit on the screen if you play in co-op, and you have to constantly scroll around to look at what you have. Comparing guns is a trial every time, especially if you've just finished the General Knoxx quest and you have a huge pile to sort. It's not annoying at first, but if you play Borderlands for two million hours like I did, the problem sticks out like a sore thumb. (Plus, it literally makes your thumb sore! From scrolling a lot. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but still.)

Borderlands came out in October of '09, and there are plenty of other more recent examples of co-op games that would benefit from this innovative idea. (I'm not the only one who's still obsessing about Borderlands, though.) Darker, moodier games like Gears and Left 4 Dead are easier to visually parse if they're full-screen.

Relatedly, on the most recent Idle Thumbs podcast -- "Rolling With the Pope" -- Chris Remo mentioned that no one plays couch co-op anymore now that you can play with friends online, and no one takes turns playing a single-player game with a friend, either. Am I the only person who still prefers playing games the "old-fashioned" way?

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