When Nintendo announced the safety warnings for the 3DS last week, it caused a minor panic. 3D can’t be that dangerous, surely? Well, it’s starting to look like Nintendo put that warning on for the same reason Wii remotes come with straps: because people like to sue.
The New York Times has been in contact with some leading ophthalmologists, who are all slightly baffled as to why Nintendo has such harsh warnings – half an hour max with 3D if you’re an adult, and none at all if you’re under 6. The professor of ophthalmology at Harvard University, Dr. David Hunter, said because 3D imagery roughly approximates the way humans construct real life 3D images, there is very little evidence that 3D impacts eye development – and there’s been experiments with monkeys to prove it.
That’s right, Dr. Lawrence Tychsen, professor of pediatrics and ophthalmology, Washington University, sat down young monkeys to watch Avatar (or something 3D, in any case) every day for 3 months – and they have no more eyesight development problems than the glasses-less control group.
Of course, don’t take all this as encouragement for all-night Ocarina of Time sessions come the summer – screens of any dimension will still hurt your vision, as any mother will tell you. Not to mention the brain fatigue caused by the brain trying to process all the information in a 3D movie or game, as Dr Hunter – who’s better than mothers – will tell you.
Expect lots more 3DS news on the 8th as part of Nintendo World 2011. Especially seeing as journalists will now be willing to play for more than half an hour.