Nintendo – 3D games can impair vision of children under six

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The hugely popular Japan’s Nintendo is set to launch a new Nintendo 3D feature next year. The 3D feature has drawn keen interest from media and gamers.  I am sure there are people eagerly waiting to get their hands on 3DS portable games console. Well! The Nintendo 3DS is expected to hit the stores in February 2011 and that too only in Japan. North America, Europe and Australia will be seeing a release sometime in March, 2011.  If the Nintendo 3D is in your wish list, you should know that Nintendo has recently issued a health warning over the 3D function as it can damage the eyes of kids aged six and under.

Health warning for Nintendo 3DS
The company has posted a cautionary note on its Japanese website:

“Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage,” Nintendo warned. The company fears that 3D content “delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children’s eyes.”

The 3DS is a portable video game system capable of creating the illusion of 3D without the use of special glasses. It can cause extra eye strain to users. The warning urges parents to use the 2D feature of the device instead, if their kids are less than six years old. The 3DS can cause gamers to feel sick or nauseous after extended use. The warning read that about one in 4,000 people may suffer seizures or blackouts, and it suggests parents to monitor their kids when the kids are playing video games.  

 Nintendo is not the first company to issue such a warning; earlier Sony warned users on the similar issues with its PlayStation 3. “Some people may experience discomfort (such as eye strain, eye fatigue or nausea) while watching 3D video images or playing stereoscopic 3D games on 3D televisions,” read Sony Online’s amended terms.

Nintendo 3DS- Glasses-free 3D plus 3D camera


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The Nintendo 3DS comes in the familiar size with a 3.53-inch 16:9 aspect ratio LCD display on the top and 3.02-inch LCD touch screen on the bottom. The bottom touch screen works with a finger or the included stylus, while a new “Slide Pad” – similar to the PSP’s analog nub – allows for 360-degree analog input.

3D cameraFurthering the device’s 3D capabilities is the inclusion of two outer cameras in addition to the one outer camera. The two outer cameras allow the 3DS to take 3D images that can be displayed on the 3D display, while the inner camera is used for head-tracking. 

Wireless communicationOn the wireless communication front the 3DS communicates through the 2.4 GHz band, with ability to connect multiple units via a local wireless connection for playing games or communication. The 3DS can also connect to LAN access point to access the Internet and play games against others.

There is no doubt that Nintendo 3DS looks exciting with many new feature, but make sure that you retrict the length of play to avoid any health issues.  If you have kids under the age of six, consider playing on 2D version to protect their eyes.  According to American Optometric Association, a significant percentage of people can’t properly see 3D images rendered on a TV or movie screen, and that can lead to headaches and other problem. If you suffer from convulsions, disorientation or other symptoms should stop playing video games and seek medical attention.

Healthy Gaming! 

Source: Fox News

3 Responses

  1. Feruzi Mwero says:

    I love Nintendo, and video games in general, but there is always a catch. First we realized we shortened childrens’ attention span, then we find out we’re cultivating addicts, then encouraging a sedentary lifestyle, and now impairing our kids’ vision. Our poor-poor children.

    Good thing I don’t have kids yet! Hahahahahha!

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