Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nintendo: 3DS May Damage Vision of Small Children

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS is not positioned as a toy: In fact, Nintendo protects the 3D mode with parental controls and recommends that children under the age of 6 should play games only in 2D mode.



Alright, a $300 mobile game console is hardly a toy for small children, but we are very well aware of the appeal of Nintendo’s DS series to children in that age range. So it may be somewhat surprising to read  Nintendo’s warns about a potentially negative impact of the 3DS on the vision of children.

I cannot quite remember to have seen so many health warnings about a new game console in the past – warnings that may actually fuel already persistent rumors among consumers that 3D displays will damage their vision. We are now reading that some people may have a hard time to actually see the 3D effect, which prompted the company to include an adjustment of the strength of the effect. Nintendo warns that 3D games are more likely than 2D content to cause “fatigue or discomfort”.

In a rather serious note, Nintendo says that vision in developmental stage should not be exposed to 3D games at all. The developmental stage applies to children under the age of 6. Different left and right eye images/video can impact the “growth of children’s eyes”, Nintendo writes .

To protect children from negative vision impact, there is a default 2D video mode. The 3D mode requires a PIN that can be set as parental control feature.