If James Cameron, Nintendo and Sony have anything to say about it, 3D is the future not just of movies, but of gaming as well. I wonder, though, if they'd read the safety guidelines before getting so carried away.
With Samsung's line of 3D television sets now on the market, their accompanying safety information has now been made public. and the number of restrictions placed on their use make Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's concerns over the effects of long-term 3D gaming (the kind that uses glasses, of course, not his own company's glasses-free approach) seem entirely valid.
Among the limitations placed on the use of a 3D TV set include:
"Children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised when viewing these images. Children under the age of six should not view 3D TV."
"Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilising the unit's 3D functionality."
"Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided."
"Watching TV while wearing 3D glasses for an extended period of time may cause a headache or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop viewing TV and rest."
So kids under 6 are out. Anyone drinking is out. Pregnant women are out, as are the elderly. Anyone playing for extended periods needs to take frequent breaks. It can cause headaches and dizziness.
Those are some serious impediments to, you know, enjoying video games, especially the extended play and alcohol bits. They're not concrete bannings by any means, and are fuelled as much by a desire for Samsung to cover its arse as they are from genuine health concerns, but still. They're not there for the fun of it, either.
Here's hoping these are early problems associated with early iterations of 3D hardware, and/or the result of 3D TV manufacturers being overly-cautious, or these things are going to go out of style faster than a Laser-Disc wearing pants made out of Betamax tapes.