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Doctor Worries That 3DS Will Turn Children Cross-Eyed

Illustration for article titled Doctor Worries That 3DS Will Turn Children Cross-Eyed

To achieve the effect of 3D, the Nintendo 3DS fools the brain into combining two images into a single one, thereby creating the appearance of 3D. One Japanese eye doctor is worried about this.

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Granted, other eye doctors previously stated that 3D is safe — some even said it was "beneficial" for children. However, Nintendo is being safe and recommending that children under the age of six do not use the handheld's 3D features.

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The reason for this is that young children's eyes are still developing. Nintendo is not alone in issuing such a warning as other electronics companies are doing the same.

Nara-based optometrist Takuya Matsumoto blogged about the 3DS's warning, adding that there are acute cases that have developed due to 3D.

Dr. Matsumoto points out that 3D strains the eyes because both eyes are not focusing on a single point. They are focusing on different points.

There's a case of a 4-year-old boy with somewhat far-sightedness who after watching a 3D movie became crossed-eyed, blogs Dr. Matsumoto. This condition resulted in surgery.

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"I think this is a rare case," Dr. Matsumoto continued, "but it might be safer not to show children under six any 3D images, just like the company's warning." The doctor adds that children under six years old can still enjoy the Nintendo 3DS's 2D functions, something that Nintendo previously pointed out, too.

ある奈良県の眼科医が目について書いたブログ : 3D映像は6歳以下の子供、幼児の目に悪い。ニンテンドー3DSでも幼児は3D機能を使わないようにと。その理由は調節と輻輳のバランスが崩れ斜視が誘発される障害の可能性が。 [ある奈良県の眼科医が目について書いたブログ via 2ch] [Pic]

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DISCUSSION

Showing two different images to two different eyes is how 3D actually works, so not sure why all these warnings are happening.

I'm serious about this, why is it the 3DS that gets these warnings? When I was 5... (28 years ago) I had a 3D View Finder. I know they still have them today... And these pretty much work the same way as the Virtual Boy did except without the eye bleeding red and black color scheme. My vision is beyond 20-20 and have never needed glasses or LASIK, I've been known to read farther and see clearer then most of my friends to a point I get teased about by my fiancé.

While it's probably mostly genetics that gave me great vision... I never had my vision damaged by the 3D View Finder... So considering there is a damn near 30 year history on that toy, why so many warnings about the 3DS.

I would think 3D imaging systems that trick the eyes with 3D like IMAX screens or 3D TVs would be more damaging, the glasses filter the light but that blurry 3D image is still being fed to both eyes... Or with 3D TVs, the glasses interlace the image by flicking at high speed... But showing two different perspectives to two different eyes is natural and how it works, to me the View Finder, 3DS and even Virtual Boy seem more natural to me.

Guess I don't get all these medical warnings on something that isn't all that new.