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 EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
 

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