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Nintendo issues warning that 3DS is bad for childrens’ eyes

What do you do when you have a product that is clearly targeting a younger audience, only to discover that it may not exactly be appropriate younger audience? That’s exactly the pickle that Nintendo has somehow found itself handling with the Nintendo 3DS. You see, the 3D-ness could have seriously detrimental effects on the eyeballs of young children.

Nintendo has issued a warning, saying that the 3D mode on the Nintendo 3DS shouldn’t be used by children under the age of six, because their vision is still in development. The way the stereoscopic 3D works on the device “has a potential impact on the growth of children’s eyes.” They might not go blind, but they might not develop properly either.

I think everyone’s parents told us not to sit too close to the TV while playing video games as a kid and, well, it seems that they might have been right. Staring at the stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS could fry their little brains and melt their little eyeballs… so to speak. That’s why Nintendo is also implementing a parental control on the 3DS that will lock the device in 2D mode.

Oh, and don’t think Nintendo is alone on this front. You know how the PS3 does 3D gaming too (albeit with glasses and all that)? Well, Sony has also issued a warning saying that kids under six shouldn’t play their 3D games either, unless they’ve been examined by an optometrist and given the go-ahead. So, 3D gaming might be the wave of the future, but the future could have a bunch of blind kids too. Great.




About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. I don’t doubt that they are bad for the Eyes. I was checking out one at a display where you can play it. My eyes felt really weird and off for a few minutes after playing one round of mariokart. We have a LG 3d tv that we watch movies on it and it doesn’t have that same effect at all. I’m holding off on purchasing one for my kids. 

  2. These comments may be a little dramatic. First, there’s no actual evidence that these screens will impact children’s eyes. It’s just that there isn’t any evidence that they won’t either so they’re playing it safe.

    @f81352432e0cc42f281e18b447fae494:disqus I’m 38 years old and I had a Nintendo Donkey Kong device when I was a kid. These things aren’t new. I had it in my pocket and had uncontrolled access to it like many kids my age at the time. We’re not “googley-eyed”.

  3. Why is this so difficult? Any sensible parent would just say one word, “NO” when their child asks for a DS. There are so many better things to do with one’s time than to have your eyes glued to some meaningless little screen. I fear for this generation of overweight, socially inept kids!

  4. Also, staring at a video game can trigger seizures, especially to a child already prone to have seizures. There should be a warning label on them for these things that parents are not aware of.

  5. Children now are walking around with the Nintendo DS in their pocket, bookbag, and everywhere else and that’s the problem. They have instant, uncontrolled access to the gaming device and because they do, they can take it out their pocket and become “googley-eyed” to the screen. Not only that, the children put the screen so close to their face and stare at it for an hour. The solution is to discipline kids and to limit the access of the children playing with Nintendo DS.

  6. The truth behind this is devasting, but will parents actually limit their childs time now that they know this information? Many parents give in to easily to their kids and the sad fact of the matter is, is that this will be just another issue thrown on the back burner.

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