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nintendo-3dsIt is a known fact of the last year that consumer electronic companies were putting in every effort to push out and increase sales in the 3D television market. However, beyond this reasonable effort, there are concerns over the effect the hardware might have on the human visual system. There have been no reported cases of any harm that might have been done due to a 3D TV or a 3D game but companies are issuing disclaimers warning against the use of 3D hardware by children.

Nintendo Japan in its latest company wide statement issued a warning against the use of its upcoming 3DS system by anyone under the age of six. Wall Street Journal reported that the company posted warnings on its Japanese website before the release of the device which is due in February. Ninetendo said on its website, “For children under the age of six, looking at 3D images for a long time could possibly have a negative impact on the growth of their eyes”. This was a translation from the original message that was in Japanese.

Manufacturers are concerned over the impact of 3D due to the fact that apart from holograms there is no system that actually generates a 3D image. 3D Televisions work by creating illusions of depth by carefully manipulation the information we humans need to visualize an object or a picture. 3D involves tricking our ability to perceive depth.

The main concern is that portions of our visual system that reside in the brain are adaptive which adjust and remap the information it receives in order to work more efficiently. This visual system is still developing in an infant. The ability for the visual system to properly learn to rewire itself will be affected if the child is heavily into 3D stuff! As of today there is no research indicating that this could happen.

Nintendo’s warning might be reasonable and a cautious move by the company.

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