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3-D or 3-Don't?

Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Everything seems to be 3-D nowadays. TV, movies on the big screen, even gaming systems. The trend hasn’t quite taken off, probably because people don’t really want to be sitting and watching TV with big, bulky glasses on, but beyond that, are there actually health risks to consider? 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system and its long-term effects on the young eyes that are glued to it. The controversy actually started when Nintendo issued a warning on its Japanese website stating that children under the age of six shouldn’t be using the 3-D mode at all because it could stunt the progress of their still-developing eyes and vision. For children over the age of six, the company recommends taking a break after 30 minutes to prevent eye fatigue, and stopping if kids feel faint or dizzy. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata addresses the warning by stating: 

"We are being proactive about informing our customer, even though it may not necessarily be positive for our sales.” 

He also says that the 3DS isn’t a “dangerous” product. 

So, should these gaming systems come with warning labels now, or are people being overly cautious? If you want some reassurance, you can at least heed the green light from the American Optometric Association (AOA) that states these 3D gaming systems are indeed OK and can even be used by children aged six and younger if their vision is developing normally. In a press release, the AOA states: 

“In fact, optometrists, professional health care providers committed to children’s vision and eye health, say 3D viewing may actually help uncover subtle disorders that, left uncorrected, often result in learning difficulties.” 

What do you think? Will this recent discussion change your decision to purchase products like these for your kids?


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