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Nintendo: 3D Games May Damage Kids' Eyes

Nintendo 3ds

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/29/10 04:05 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

As gamers eagerly await the release of the Nintendo 3DS, a portable console featuring glasses-free 3D technology, the company has issued a warning to consumers. Nintendo stated that viewing images in 3D may cause damage to the eyes, especially in children younger than six years old.

The disclaimer was posted to Nintendo's Japanese website along with guidelines for proper use of the 3DS device, Fox News reports.

According to a translation of the warning (via Google Translate), Nintendo says that young children's eyes are not fully developed and that prolonged exposure to 3D images could interfere with proper growth in a ways that might not affect an adult's eyes.

Engadget has details: "Nintendo [...] says that children under six shouldn't use the 3D mode at all, since their eyes are still developing, and that parents can use controls built into the 3DS to lock it into 2D mode for children."

Nintendo's warning also informed adult gamers on proper 3D gameplay. "[P]layers are advised that 3D gameplay causes eye fatigue more quickly than 2D gaming and are told to take a break after 30 minutes of play -- and you should quit immediately if you get ill," writesEngadget.

The Escapist is now reporting that young children will be barred from using the 3DS console at the upcoming Nintendo World event, which will showcase the device.

Ophthalmologist Michael Ehrenhaus told Fox News that children as old as eight years old may be at risk of developmental damage, but he also said that Nintendo's warning may be a bit extreme. "I don't foresee it as a major issue," Ehrenhaus conceded. "[Nintendo are] just being overly concerned."

Fearmongering aside, Nintendo plans to start selling the 3DS this coming February in Japan. European and U.S. consumers can expect the device in March, AP reports.

Earlier this year, Samsung stirred up fears about the health risks associated with watching 3D TV. View our slideshow (here) to see who should steer clear of 3D and why, according to Samsung.


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