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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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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