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3DS May Not Hurt Kids' Eyes After All

A few days ago Nintendo stated that children ages six and under should refrain from looking at the upcoming 3DS' screen in 3D mode because the tech could actually harm eye development. The comment was surprising given that the company is gearing up to heavily promote and eventually release the device in the coming months. What was even more surprising was that Nintendo would even develop a gaming platform that could pose that kind of threat.

Later Charlie Scibetta, the senior director for corporate communications for Nintendo of America, followed-up with a written explanation stating that "Nintendo's position is children six and under should not use the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS, and parents should use the Parental Controls feature to restrict access to the 3D mode."

Both warnings brought immediate skepticism from many of the world's elite pediatric ophthalmologists who claimed that the Nintendo warnings had very little basis in science. “The fact you’d watch 3D in a theater or a video game should have zero deleterious impact whatsoever,” said Dr. Lawrence Tychsen, a professor of pediatrics and ophthalmology at Washington University in St. Louis, in a report by the New York Times.

Dr. David Hunter, professor of ophthalmology at Harvard University and ophthalmologist-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Boston, added that there appeared to be "scant evidence" that 3D image technology-- which is appearing in theaters, HDTVs, Blu-ray players and even the PlayStation 3-- can hurt eye development. The only real possible side-effect from watching 3D movies or playing a 3D games would be fatigue from the brain trying to "process a ton of information."

David Granet, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Diego, and chairman-elect of the ophthalmology section of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said general screen time can come at a cost, pointing to a growing concern that a child's ability to focus and pay attention is being hampered by the heavy use of highly stimulating interactive technology.

"I don’t think that parents need to worry about kids playing video games, 3-D or otherwise, from a vision perspective," Granet said. "The bigger question for parents is: Do you really want your 3-year-old playing a video game?"

It's speculated that Nintendo publicly tossed out the 3DS comment to legally cover itself against lawsuits claiming that the handheld's 3D mode ruined a small child's eyes without warning.

  • Randomacts
    old news
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Wait, did any of these elite eggheads investigate this *particular* type of glasses-free 3D screen and spend years studying its effect on young children's eyes? They're all babbling on about 3D movies and games which require glasses, not playing a glasses-free 3DS in 3D mode for hours on end. I'd rather wait for a study on this exact technology.

    It only hurts 3DS sales to tell people that the main selling point over previous models (3D) could be bad for young childrens eyes. It doesn't make sense to me that Nintendo would purposely hurt their sales if there wasn't some indication on their end that the 3D mode *could* be harmful. Better safe than sorry, at any rate.
    Reply
  • Spike53
    alextheblueWait, did any of these elite eggheads investigate this *particular* type of glasses-free 3D screen and spend years studying its effect on young children's eyes? They're all babbling on about 3D movies and games which require glasses, not playing a glasses-free 3DS in 3D mode for hours on end. I'd rather wait for a study on this exact technology. It only hurts 3DS sales to tell people that the main selling point over previous models (3D) could be bad for young childrens eyes. It doesn't make sense to me that Nintendo would purposely hurt their sales if there wasn't some indication on their end that the 3D mode *could* be harmful. Better safe than sorry, at any rate.You seem very skeptical about what some pediatric ophthalmologists say what is and what isn't safe for kids. These people go through years of schooling plus all of the research they've done in the scientific field to become optical specialists for kids. Their opinion on the matter is the mote educated and trustworthy one available on the matter.
    By your reason, we shouldn't have cellphones even though scientists have already disproven that it has any negative effects on cells, but we should err on the side of caution.
    Reply
  • mauller07
    Nearly everything we do in life has its negative implications and problems, its a matter of balancing them out and taking responsibility to limit the exposure to the negative effects or by taking actions that limit the effects.
    Reply
  • Zenthar
    Ooook, so now we bash Nintendo for being overly careful with out children health... couldn't you just bash the ones that are not careful enough more to make the news??? So now we should submit our children to anything that wasn't proven to harm them, even if we have doubts and no scientific proofs?
    Reply
  • adamboy64
    All gaming can be a threat to peoples eyes...
    alextheblue... Better safe than sorry, at any rate.Yes, better them make the comment and cover themselves rather than have massive litigations in the future.
    Reply
  • AGPC
    They said that Becsue it is new they dont know for sure. but this way they can not be sued.
    Reply
  • ProDigit10
    One thing they forget is the possibility of increased gazing due to bad aligned 3D vision.
    When you want to focus too much on 3D artifacts in the back that are blurred out, or stare at images that pop out of the screen too much (that appear to float out of the TV, into the room) for a too long time, you might end up gazing at things, without really focusing on them
    Tiredness of the eyes can be corrected by glasses, or just giving the eyes some resting period.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    Spike53By your reason, we shouldn't have cellphones even though scientists have already disproven that it has any negative effects on cells, but we should err on the side of caution.Your comparison isn't relevant. On one hand we have a new type of glasses-free 3D display, which the manufacturer of says may be bad for young, developing minds. It is a new technology. On the other hand we have cell phones, which have been around for a long time, and which we understand very well. In particular, we understand things like the type and amount of radiation they emit. By the way, their output power is limited by the government.

    So then, tell me all about the 3DS screen tech, how the brain interprets the light information emitted by the device, and what effect this has been proven or not proven to have on developing minds? You're right, why bother with studies! Here you go kids! Fuck it, right?
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    alextheblueWait, did any of these elite eggheads investigate this *particular* type of glasses-free 3D screen and spend years studying its effect on young children's eyes? They're all babbling on about 3D movies and games which require glasses, not playing a glasses-free 3DS in 3D mode for hours on end. I'd rather wait for a study on this exact technology. It only hurts 3DS sales to tell people that the main selling point over previous models (3D) could be bad for young childrens eyes. It doesn't make sense to me that Nintendo would purposely hurt their sales if there wasn't some indication on their end that the 3D mode *could* be harmful. Better safe than sorry, at any rate.u know what will hurt their sales? that $300 pricetag

    i'll get it when the second revision is under $200.
    Reply