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Have You Played... Sharkey's 3D Pool?

Where's Jacques Derrida been hiding all these years?

Oh my word, I'd forgotten about Sharkey's 3D Pool. What a grand old game. Apparently it was quite technically impressive for its time, as one of the very first 3D pool or snooker games. I wouldn't have known anything about that as an eight-year-old playing games after school. Much like I knew absolutely nothing about how to play pool well. I mainly just liked the noise it made when a ball was potted. Whether it was my ball or my opponent's ball: that was just extraneous detail.

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Looking up Sharkey's 3D Pool in order to write this post, I discovered something that was remarkable to me, and probably uninteresting to you, but this is my post goshdarnit. See, the game had 7 AI player characters, each of which had a name, a portrait, a difficulty level, and maybe even a playing style - though I'm fuzzy on that part. Sharkey was obviously the best: he could clear the table in a single run if the mood struck. But there were also the timeless personalities of Wild-Shot Willy, Slashin' Sally, Fast Fanny, and Slick Nickie. Those names were hours of fun for eight-year-old Ollie.

One name that seemed by contrast to be extremely ordinary was Jac Derida. And only now, looking back, do I realise that this name is presumably a reference to Jacques Derrida, a philosopher and academic whose indecipherable works I studied at university. What the fuck is he doing in Sharkey's 3D Pool? The master of post-structuralist deconstruction, Différance, and phallogocentrism, shooting pool in Sharkey's club? Am I missing something here? Is this like Lost? Are all these names actually obscure references to famous thinkers? Is Wild-Shot Willy some world-famous theologian I've never heard about?

Sorry. That little detail just blew my mind momentarily. Anyway, Sharkey's 3D Pool. Good game, eh? You can still play it even today, if you fancy reliving your childhood like I did.

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About the Author
Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.