What is it about 3D?

epileptic seizures from video games photosensitivity Nintendo will be giving the first public demonstration of its forthcoming 3DS handheld console Jan. 8-11 at Nintendo World in Japan. Children under age six will not be permitted to use the 3DS at the event, however. Nintendo is cautioning against the optional 3D setting for the new units by young children, whose developing eyesight may suffer long-term consequences from using the product. There have been no long-term studies, but concerns have been expressed by doctors about effect of 3D on young children’s eyes. 3D has gotten some negative publicity because of these lingering health questions.

Manufacturers of 3D screens have issued warnings about potential health consequences of this new technology. SONY posted a warning on its Australian website about 3D and vision problems, while Samsung warns consumers that viewing its TV in 3D mode may cause not only visual disorientation, but also seizures and strokes. Individuals with a family history of epilepsy or stroke are advised to consult a doctor before using the 3D function.

Consumers are willing to accept the risk of seizures, a known hazard of video game use, but when it comes to possible problems with eyesight, more people are paying attention. Maybe the 3D issue will provide an opportunity for consumers to begin advocating for electronic visual entertainment without health risks of either kind.

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