Why the 3DS Might Be Bad for Young Eyes

January 3, 2011 -

Nintendo has been playing it very safe with the 3DS lately, publicly stating that kids under six shouldn’t view the 3D effects and providing parental controls that will lock the handheld in 2D-mode.

Is there really any danger to children’s eyesight though?  After all, we naturally view the world around us in three dimensions so what could the problem be?

Speaking to NPR, Ahna Girshick, a vision researcher at New York University, explains it thusly:

A three-dimensional effect is created on a flat screen like a video game device or television by filming a scene with two cameras.

"Each camera gets a slightly different view, and that creates what's called binocular disparity," says Ahna Girshick, a vision researcher at New York University. Binocular disparity is what you get when you look at the world with two eyes. Each eye sends an image to the brain that sees the world from a slightly different angle.

"The brain is accustomed to processing that. And it creates this 3-D impression," she says. Makers of 3-D media are taking advantage of that. "So they're just piggybacking what's already built into our eyes and brains."

But there's a problem: We also get some information about how far away an object is by how much we adjust the lens in our eyeball to bring it into focus.

"So with a near display, like if you're looking at a TV and you are sitting up close, your eyes actually focus on the surface of the TV, and that's at one distance," Girshick explains. But if the TV is showing a 3-D image, your brain might think an object is far off in the distance, even though your focus is on the screen right in front of you.

"And these two systems are now in conflict. In the natural world they're never in conflict," she says.



There is currently no evidence that 3D visuals are harmful to anyone so it’s up to parents to heed and enforce Nintendo’s 3DS usage recommendations for their children.

AE: Better safe than sorry and all that but buying your kiddies a shiny new 3DS and forcing them to play all their games in 2D does strike me as a bit mean.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Why the 3DS Might Be Bad for Young Eyes

"AE: Better safe than sorry and all that but buying your kiddies a shiny new 3DS and forcing them to play all their games in 2D does strike me as a bit mean."

For some reason this made me grin. At least they get games with better graphics than the DS, though. Not like 3D is the only thing the 3DS has going for it.
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I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


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I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.
 
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Andrew EisenI made this video about two years ago but it's topical again. "The Effects of Gay Marriage" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFyxiYu9I406/30/2015 - 12:12pm
black mantaA little more compact, but still not a radical re-design.06/30/2015 - 12:00pm
SuperKeegYeah, the proton pack is different in design, but similar in spirit. Its a little dirty, not pretty, but functional.06/30/2015 - 11:08am
IvresseI'm guessing it's specifically designed to be smaller. The original packs were pretty bulky looking...06/30/2015 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightThe proton pack is a very different design. Here is the original: http://www.gbfans.com/wiki/Proton_Pack_Part_Names06/30/2015 - 10:50am
black mantaProton pack looks essentially the same to me. Have no problem with either, BTW. :)06/30/2015 - 10:32am
Andrew EisenNot much change to the uniforms so I was surprised to see such a redesign for the proton pack. I like it though!06/30/2015 - 10:22am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster proton pack: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61586646983075840006/30/2015 - 10:19am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster uniforms: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61565492324668211206/30/2015 - 10:18am
Mattsworknamegamergate or any part of that movment. My biggest issues have always been more about my views on the idustry on a personal level rather then any affilication with GG.06/30/2015 - 9:50am
MattsworknameI only really every had any interest in the GG stuff when they were going in about the media and stuff and the whole "Gamers are Dead" junk. As a general rule, whatever issues I had with various groups was more my own issues, not anything specific with06/30/2015 - 9:49am
Andrew EisenI'm still trying to figure out where anyone is getting the idea violent content or lousy representation of women and minorities in video games shouldn't exist or be promoted.06/30/2015 - 9:25am
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