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Is the Nintendo 3DS Bad for Kids?

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS: bad for kids under age 7.

Nintendo will launch its new hand-held 3D gaming system, the Nintendo 3DS, on Feb. 26 in Japan and on March 27 in the U.S.  The personal video game system will be available for 3D play without the need for special glasses and will cost $250.  Nintendo has 30 games ready for the device, including a 3D version of Madden football.

Some have raised “concerns that the system’s eye-popping tech might cause headaches or other unpleasantness if viewed for an extended period of time,” Kotaku reports.  President of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime, does in fact recommend that the gaming system be kept away from children ages 7 and younger.

“We will recommend that very young children not look at 3D images,” he said. “That’s because, [in] young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed… This is the same messaging that the industry is putting out with 3D movies, so it is a standard protocol.”

I’m surprised to discover that the film industry recommends that children ages 7 and under not attend 3D movies.  I hadn’t heard that anywhere, and my daughter has already been to see a handful of 3D movies that are clearly being pitched to children her age, despite the fact that they carry a PG rating instead of G.  (“Alpha and Omega” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” for example.  She saw “How to Train Your Dragon” with her Dad, but I watched “Alpha and Omega” with her, and I can say confidently that she did not actually see the film in 3D since she refused to wear the glasses.  She saw the film in what I like to call “blur-D.”)

Fils-Aime told reporters today that the system does offer varying levels of 3D play, “from none to maximum levels of depth,” per The Wall Street Journal.  I wonder what this health warning means for the future of 3D television, something I hope dies in the development stages.  If I want to see entertainment in 3D, I’ll just go out and catch something live, thank you very much.

Photo: The Gaming Feed

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