News Article

3DS Could Cause Eye Problems in Later Life

Posted by James Newton

Just wait and see

We read in a recent report that 1 in 10 people can't see 3D properly, but there have been concerns that even those who can see 3D images could suffer from eye strain and poor vision from playing the console too much. As such, Nintendo recommends children under the age of 7 do not play 3DS with the 3D effect on to prevent any possible issues, which may be a smart move according to University of Cambridge expert Neil Dodgson.

With regard to children under seven [playing 3DS], the answer is that we just do not know whether they will have a particular problem or not. We will only really know if there is a problem if we get a spate of cases where young adults find that they have eyesight problems that can be statistically correlated with excessive use of 3D at an earlier age.

Of course, no ethically-minded company is likely to endorse the kind of research and experimentation that could answer this question conclusively, so it seems prevention is the best option. Could Nintendo include a parental option to switch the 3D effect off entirely? Only time will tell. If this speculation hasn't put you off Nintendo's next handheld, be sure to check out our 3DS Hands-On to see what all the fuss is about.


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User Comments (88)



bryguy1919 said:

When you first purchase and turn on the 3DS, there should a Date of Birth requirement or something similiar.



Xkhaoz said:

Screw it. I'm just want to play 3DS dang it. /me does not like to wait



Tar said:

I already wear glasses, I can see 3d fine. When I have my contacts in, I should be ok. I have the worst eyes in the world.....



Punny said:

Just wait and see, huh? How am I supposed to see if I lose my eyesight from the 3DS? Still, the 3DS is worth getting eye problems.



Klapaucius said:

I'm sure the same thing would have been said about TVs back in the day. Even radio probably got the "it could be harmful to you" reports when it first began.
Lets just hope 3D isn't another radium or DDT.



Stuffgamer1 said:

The headline seems to be misleading. I thought you were going to say that playing the system as an adult could screw up your vision, but the article itself is focusing on children. Didn't we already know children under seven weren't supposed to be playing in 3D?



Megumi said:

@2: lol yeah, not gonna stop me either. xD
I'm not able to look at 3D for more than an hour or two anyways, so I don't mind switching it off every now and then.



King_Boo said:

what six year old would even have a gaming system, or be left alone to use one.



NapalmHornet said:

Just eat carrots since the day you switch it on. Well it may help? and anyways it's not gonna stop me buyin' one, those so called scientists and reasearchers probably hate all computer/video games so they just complain about whatever is new and/or exiting. Fact.



komicturtle said:

Hm, there are warnings about Elipsy and seizures when playing games. That was a HUGE worry back in the day- and apprently some kid actually died from playing the Super Nintendo. But, it was because of the seizure he got.

I'm not particularly worried about this, and will likely put the 3D effect in a medium or low setting if that's good enough for the game I'm playing. Star Fox 64 3D, however, is going for a HIGH.



ExploderReviews said:

LOL! joe and napalm i owned an sp since before i knew how to read (and dont use that to say i learned how to read late, it was pretty early), and carrots improving your eyesight was a WW2 myth to explain sonar.



Toddr said:

@7.Tarlii Do you know what your prescription actually is? My one eye is -4.50 and my other eye is -5.25. And I don't know if this is right or now, but I just recently got contacts and now I can't see up close. It's way more annoying to not be able to see detail close up than far away.



NintyMan said:

That's too bad...for little kids.

Really, do most people know that 3D is optional?



Cowmansr said:

@Joe22: as much as it might not be the best idea, my two-year-old loves to play with my iPod touch. My friend's kid has had a DS since being maybe 5. So, yeah, kids spend time on handhelds...

At least video games are better for kids' brains than TV.



KiroX777 said:

yes! they did it, now that people know the 3D isnt a MUST developers would be more brave to leave out the 3D then we can use the extra processing power for better gameplay =D



Varoennauraa said:

Yeah. Might be. It might be for good too, who knows. My daughter has squinting eyes, and I'm not going to test it on her though, but me? Going to play all the time, even if there is blood coming from my eyes.

I heard, that 3DS is less straining(?), than 3d-movies with glasses and kids all all over 3d movies. I saw today an announcement of childrens 3d-movie, and nobody is fudding that.



Raylax said:

The headline and the article itself don't match up at all. Headline suggests that someone's found evidence that it can cause problems. Article tells us that a university person said "basically, we don't know and there's no way of finding out until people have been playing it for a while. But it's probably not good for under 7's, which you already knew."



she_gamer said:

The smartest thing Nintendo did was include the slider to have the option to play in 3d... if parents are worried, super-glue the slider. Problem solved.



Tar said:

@Toddr: Sorry, I don't know, I will check later, I know that one of my eyes is a 3.75, forgot the other.



EdEN said:

I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past the "under 7" point so I'll be getting one at launch and play 48 hours straight since I'm sure that, surprisingly, I'll be sick two days after the 3DS launches. Just don't tell my boss about it.



GammaGames said:

too bad, for all the under 6 year olds! Im 15, so i dont really care anyway! I'm with EdEN, except ill be sick for like a week XD



SuperPeach said:

I'm still getting one. I'm going to wait for a bit after it's released before getting one though.



DrCruse said:

Am I the only one to notice that this is EXACTLY the same age restriction on the Virtual Boy?



RyuZebian said:

It's also fact that sitting too much causes cancer. Everything is more or less dangerous. And considering that I'm over 7, this isn't going to stop me. I mean, how many people are willing to give up sitting, knowing it causes cancer??? Everything bears with it a little risk. Did you also know that living gives you a 100 % risk of dying?



Golgo said:

Lol at photo caption. Nice one.

My decrepit eyesight is too far gone to worry about this, anyway.



NintyMan said:

Reading and playing normal games may give you eye problems. These studies just want to make eveyrthing look dangerous.



pikku said:

My eyes are already as bad as they can get, so unless this will literally make you go blind, I'm gonna get it anyway



dizzy_boy said:

today, a joint microsoft and sony report states that the unreleased nintendo 3DS console is unsafe for children, and could damage their eye sight.
sony goes on to say that the next psp will be safe for children, albeit with a bloated price tag which could hurt the parents bank balance.



Token_Girl said:

Meh, I'm sure it doesn't matter all that much. If you're playing games enough to cause eye damage that young, there are probably bigger problems (weight from sitting around too much comes to mind). There's no evidence either way. You're mom probably told you sitting too close to the TV causes eye strain, but there's no evidence of that either. I wouldn't stress out about this if I was a parent, but outside of long car/airplane trips, I probably wouldn't let my kids play more than an hour or so at a time with it anyways.



Junkface said:

The "experts" statements are kind of rediculous. As for those statements leadind to a law suit... well I doubt anyone would win. The expert said himself no one has or would conduct an experiment to find out if this true. That statement by itself is useless, rediculous. The guy is takin a guess; there is no experimental data to back up his statement. The word "expert" should be setting off your spidey sense immediately. Expert in what? A brand new technology no one has used before? How the heck would he know what kind of effects it would have on anyone?



Phobos said:

I already have astigmatism (family trait) and I'm short-sighted of my own accord. I'm only 12 too. What worse can be done? This never came to me because I strained my eyes; it's something that came to me naturally. I'm a pretty cautious person.

Anyway, I limit my game time. I won't be on the console for too long. Maybe a few hours a day, then stay away from anything with a screen. 3D effect intervalled too. Spaced out, gaming time should be. Relaxed, eyes should be.



SilverBaretta said:

So many problems, so many problems.........and to think they can all be solved by the sliding of a switch.



timp29 said:

@28, @50: GOLD!

How can looking at 3D be bad? Isn't the rest of the world in 3D?



HappyHappy said:

I knew something like this would happen, I will probably just put the depth of the 3DS to minimum for most of the time.



jkgatling said:

Watch too much TV and you cause Eye Strain... HELL!!! watch WATER reflecting the sun too long and you can go blind. so 3D is fine...
I got poor vision... from playing games... and they dont got any damn 3d options XD



StrikerJ said:

So... you're saying that if I play with my 3DS too much, I'm going to go blind? We've heard that one before!



Awesome5 said:

Yeah, they say the same thing about videogames and t.v. in general, so I'm not too worried.



TheBaconator said:

If it ever does start giving me headaches I'll just turn the 3D off and increase the framerate instead.(or at least that's what I think I heard)



Kyloctopus said:

@Shockerz Did you see the E3 segment? You can turn off the 3D because Nintendo knows about your 3D problems.

It's not like PS3's 3D games are any better. What if you lose the glasses, what if you play it for too long.



Useless_Account said:

I sdont care im still ganna play it, besies I NEED glasses to see 3d so it would be strain my eyes using glasses, not naked Duo eyes. Whatever anyone says I'm playing it. I'm probably gonna die blind anyway, if I die at all... : l i kid.



Cats said:

Ahhh... thanks for mentioning the Virtual Boy. Even Nintendo seems to want to forget that it ever existed. That thing was neat, and clunky, and disorienting at times, and's stuffed on a shelf in my closet. Didn't they start slipping those dumb seizure warnings in everything right about the time the VB came out? I hope I'm wrong, but I think the 3DS is going to have the same issues the VB had.



theblackdragon said:

@Cats: i remember the seizure warnings from the NES days. they might've had a more strongly worded one for the Virtual Boy, though. :3



Frango said:

So everybody should close their eyes since, as far as I'm concerned, the whole world is in 3D...

Oh... that's amazing hehehe...

I guess all the damage the 3ds can cause to your eyes is the same as any other video game... with 3d on or off...



Plastifish said:

Are the developers crosseyed yet... But, seriously, being that this is a warning for younger children, I would say, at this point, that this is a generic precaution; just as excessive TV time has been noted in the past, and 'do not sit too close to your TV'. It is better safe than sorry. If you notice that your eyes feel strained after a few hours of high-set 3D, then you probably want to limit a younger person's play time even lower.

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