Anamorphic is Out; Static Aspect is In

Article Type: 
Teaser Icon: 

Anamorphic was a scaling behavior term coined by WSGF members shortly after the creation of the forum. It mimicked the behavior of anamorphic video on DVD in that an image made for a specific aspect ratio would appear unaltered on a 4:3 or a 16:9 screen, with the only difference being the letterboxing or pillarboxing, depending on the aspect ratio of the display.

However, the technical implementation of anamorphic video had no connection to how a game is rendered, so our use of the term has been occasionally criticized, with one of the first instances of criticism dating back to 2008.

In February 2022, we polled the users of the WSGF Discord to try to understand whether the term served its purpose. We tagged everyone and although just a few of the members reacted, the outcome showed that most were confused by the term.

The alternatives proposed over the years were Fixed Aspect Ratio and Maintain Aspect Ratio. The latter is also used by Nvidia. The terms were good but involved a number of issues.

First, we had to keep it short for it to not break the Master Games List, which is a table where cell width is important for the overall presentation. Second, a major part of WSGF is fixing games and maintaining the fixes, so we wanted to eliminate any further possibility of confusion, which caused us to look for anything synonymous. That is when Static was brought up, so we decided to settle on it and also shorten Aspect Ratio to Aspect. AR was another option but posed the risk of being confused with Augmented Reality or not being understood as relating to Aspect Ratio.

The decision meant parting ways with a term used for over a decade and even documented in relation to field of view scaling behaviors on Wikipedia, but we put clarity above history and finalized the changes last week. Give a warm welcome to Static Aspect!