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Why might one use a 2d physics engine in a 3d world, good question. First off, is the speed. there is one less axis which vastly increases the speed when checking. Secondly, you can offer a 2.5d effect, you may wish to use multiple 2d physics worlds, lets say, on the z axis. Where players can move from a axis to another collision detection world. Also the player can have some ability to move the 3d camera, or move it slightly to the positive or negative axis.