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Nintendo Warns 3D Games Can Ruin Children's Eyes

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-sit-so-close dept.

Medicine 229

Hugh Pickens writes "Fox News reports that Nintendo has posted a cautionary note on its Japanese website that 'vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage,' adding that 3D content 'delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes.' The notice went to say that Nintendo recommends that all viewers take regular breaks while watching 3D video or playing stereoscopic 3D games (google translation). Dr. Michael Ehrenhaus, an ophthalmologist with New York Cornea Consultants, thinks Nintendo and Sony may be getting ahead of themselves with these disclaimers. 'It's hard to say that it'll ruin development,' says Ehrenhaus."

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229 comments

What I have been telling people. (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34705922)

Since a while, 3D TV is supposed to be the next big thing. I have been telling people that I doubted a 3D TV could be watched without side effects for as many hours a day that some people watch current 2D TVs.

I mean, it should be fine to watch a 3D movie in a theater once in a while but even then; some complain of headaches or at least of a "disorienting feeling" after watching the latest 3D movies such as Avatar.

I will sure wait for while before getting myself a 3D TV just to better evaluate its effects on the human brain.

Well, at least, Sony seems to be thinking about the children ;-)

Re:What I have been telling people. (4, Informative)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34705996)

Children can suffer things like "lazy eye" and neither Sony or Nintendo wants to be hit by a lawsuit indicating that their newfangled product was responsible, even if it isn't the case. Thus they preemptively warn about letting developing children use the product.

It's in a similar vein to how radio enthusiasts set up their antennas unpowered at first so that they can tell "radio sensitives" where to show it.

Re:What I have been telling people. (3, Informative)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706068)

Nintendo pulled the Visual Boy because of this effect. I hate the feeling my eyes get while watching isometric 3d projections. It's unnatural, and I swear viewing all those 3d stills when I was a kid with the goggles didn't help.

Re:What I have been telling people. (4, Insightful)

Bluecobra (906623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706522)

Nintendo didn't pull the Virtual Boy because of its headache inducing red LED display, they pulled it because it was a shitty console that nobody bought.

Re:What I have been telling people. (2)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706540)

No, they pulled the Virtual Boy because it was a completely terrible system both in technical and aesthetic aspects. There's no such thing as a Visual Boy, so I don't know what you're talking about, and I doubt you do either.

VisualBoyAdvance (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706844)

There's no such thing as a Visual Boy

There is [ngemu.com] , but Nintendo wants it pulled for a different reason [nintendo.com] .

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706730)

They didn't pull the Virtual Boy because of this, but you can damn well bet that this has a lot to do with why they added that slider to the 3DS to allow people to adjust the 3D effect in the game, including turning the 3D effect off (which apparently may also help in saving battery life, though I have no idea how that works exactly).

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706116)

The Disoriented feeling is probably as much the camera shots in Avatar as any thing else. Its disorienting in 2D as well.

That's not to say that 3D is blameless, because the technology is still far from mature, imperfectly filmed, and reliant on uncomfortable glasses.

There is nothing inherent in 3D that should be problematic. It is, after all, our normal environment, and 2D is what should be problematic. But we have no trouble with 2D, our brain adds the third dimension easily. Even one eyed persons has enough depth perception clues to operate just fine in the normal world.

It seems to me that the 3D technology is a huge kludge, and probably will always be as long as it relies on trying to fool the visual system into seeing depth with images projected upon a common plane, at a common distance.

The process induces so much visual noise the brain works overtime trying to filter it. If we got everything perfectly positioned, the math suggests we should not be able to tell. The brain says otherwise. The brain notices the focus stays the same, regardless of supposed distance. This is not normal. Its a clear anomaly which we have not yet learned to ignore.

As for thinking about the children, I think they are thinking about the lawyers. This sounds like ass covering of the first order.

 

Re:What I have been telling people. (5, Informative)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706234)

There is nothing inherent in 3D that should be problematic. It is, after all, our normal environment, and 2D is what should be problematic.

This isn't quite correct. In our normal environment, there's a correspondence between the parallax depth of objects (their displacement in the left eye image vs. the right eye image) and their focal depth (the curvature of the cornea required to produce a sharp image on the retina). On any 3D TV/film display, no such correspondence exists.

In a cinema, the distance to the screen is far enough that this generally isn't a big deal: the rays coming from one point on the screen, by the time they hit your pupil, have diverged along such a narrow angle that they might as well be parallel (as if from an infinitely distant source.) But when you're in a living room with a screen in front of you, it's potentially a much bigger deal. We have plenty of reasons to suppose that the brain 'trains' itself on this depth-correspondence, and exposing kids to a lot of visual stimulus which lacks this correspondence could easily throw a wrench into this training process. We just don't know yet.

When we don't know, error on the side of caution (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706392)

This is a GOOD THING. Usually corporations intentionally ignore or even fail to research the harm of their devices; not only have they found out there is potential harm but they are ACTING on it by warning people. Yes, this is likely due to lawsuits but for a change they are actively trying to avoid them instead of spending money on P.R. and fake think tanks to protect themselves after problems are found by the public like most large corporations do today. BP comes to mind as an extreme example.

oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarians (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706474)

Huh! Could this much-bemoaned "litigator culture" full of coffee-scalds and warning labels actually produce some sort of mysterious, unexplainable corporate incentives which compel them to (now and again) act in line with the best interests of the public? I can't imagine how! It is a mystery for the ages.

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706568)

Except there's no proof the systems actually do damage, and the warning is purely a CYA move with absolutely no real-world impact (it's a warning label, rather than modifying the technology, or putting in hard limits on time use) since it relies exclusively on parents actually parenting. Odds of that? My calculations are putting them at slim-to-none.

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706982)

"Except there's no proof ..."

I stopped reading after 'Fox reports...'

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707042)

You willing to bet your own kids' vision on that?

There may not be any proof as yet, as the technology is still in its nascent stages, but I'd much prefer that the companies, in covering their collective backsides, acknowledge a possible risk than try to cover it up or deny the existence of any risks whatsoever.

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34707308)

That would actually be the engineer's fault, bad user interface, or probably the salesman's. Holy shit! How about, professional liability for sales people! You know, instead of just engineers, corporations, lawyers, and doctors, it would almost be like America, with integrity again!

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707346)

Except there's no proof the systems actually do damage,

That's essentially false. There is proof that bad 3D can cause damage. There is no proof that the new 3D is "bad" because testing it requires subjecting children to a test that has, in the past, damaged children. It's unethical to determine if the current 3D technology will cause the same problems proven to have occurred in previous 3D technology.

So your statement is true in that not every possible combination of stereoscopic 3D has been proven to cause damage, so there's no proof that Blu-Ray 3D movies will cause damage. There's proof that 3D causes damage and no proof that this version doesn't. So, feel free to say it however you want. The technology used has been proven to cause damage, and they've not proven this one to be any better than the old versions.

Re:oh and this is where i make fun of lolbertarian (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707548)

Please point to this "Proof".

You can't go on stomping your foot like a spoiled child with out providing at least a citation.

Pictures, or it didn't happen.

Re:When we don't know, error on the side of cautio (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706580)

They have nothing to lose by disrecommending games for small children under six, because those kids are growing up fast.

If 3D games were found to harm people's vision at any age, you can bet they would cover that up.

Re:When we don't know, error on the side of cautio (2)

gslavik (1015381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707412)

Except Sega had this tech and knew the problems in 1980s.

Re:What I have been telling people. (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706586)

In a cinema, the distance to the screen is far enough that this generally isn't a big deal: the rays coming from one point on the screen, by the time they hit your pupil, have diverged along such a narrow angle that they might as well be parallel (as if from an infinitely distant source.) But when you're in a living room with a screen in front of you,

Can't it be true in reverse as well? You appear to see an object coming very close to you, but the focal depth still says it's far away. At least in gimmicks where things would jump out at you from the screen there should be a fairly obvious difference to what the eye would see in reality.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706622)

You're quite right. I hadn't considered that.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706744)

I addressed this in my first post above.

The fact that you are doing no eye focusing, or actual parallax adjustments with your eyeballs is not missed by the brain, and may be the source of some people's disorientation.

It certainly leads to the "fake" look of movie 3D. You are always aware that what you are seeing is an approximation, usually thrown into the story gratuitously merely to sell the technology.

Will the brain learn this? Or will this technology be quickly abandoned when multi-focal-plane technology arrives?

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706248)

Lets get off the "new" and "far from mature" BS. It's been here since the 50's that I know of, as 20 years before I was born and I am 2 years from 40.

Yakity Yakity and all that crotchety old shit. I was watching it on MTV when MTV was just hard rock and nothing else.

- Dan.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706306)

It's been around longer than that see: stereogram [wikipedia.org] my grandmother has some stills from before the turn of the century (20th) that can be viewed on an old brass unit that looks like something you would take to an opera.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706330)

Well, I just watched Tron Legacy in 3D last night, and I was aggressively underwhelmed by the effect, and distracted by the distortion caused by the glasses. Just because it's 60 years old doesn't mean it's mature. 3D is still IMNSHO a novelty. It has potential, but is a long way off from what I've seen personally. I have zero interest in wearing special glasses to watch movies in my home regardless of how much marketing Sony, Samsung, etc. shove my way.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707050)

I noticed that some short bits of the action sequences totally overwhelmed my visual system. For a second or two I literally could not work out what was going on. It seemed to happen when there was a lot of movement and a big stereo effect.

Re:What I have been telling people. (4, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706310)

There is nothing inherent in 3D that should be problematic.

I kinda disagree, based on the fact that technical generated 3D is simply a hack for your brain. It is designed to fool your brain into thinking that things that have no depth, have depth. I can see the possibility that it might not be good for developing eyes.

I remember watching a video in school (late 70s) about a guy who created special headset binoculars that he wore all the time for a week. They made everything upside down, which was humorous and made him have to adjust to walking, etc. He wore them every waking hour. Within a week, his brain had adjusted and flipped the image, so now with the headgear, everything was now right side up. Once he quit using them, obviously, everything was back to upside down, and it took a couple of weeks to get back to "right". This experiment is exactly parallel to what we are talking about: hacking the brain to see something differently. The experiment didn't go as far as exploring long term effects, if any, this had on the adult volunteer. What it did prove, however, is that you can force the brain to change your visual perception in a semi-permanent way. It caused a real physical change in the brain.

Any time you go hacking into things, there are unforeseen consequences. Saying to be cautious and don't let kids use it is likely a good idea until we better understand the possible side effects. It isn't like abstaining from 3D is going to hurt a 4 year old.

Re:What I have been telling people. (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707604)

What's particularly problematic is that you're better off just using 2D cinema. If you want to give it depth, there are techniques available that can make a 2D image seem very 3 dimensional. A lot of the old cowboy movies from the period after they went color are a good example. You watch the movie and your brain reconstructs it in 3D without glasses. Sure you don't get that gauche effect of hurling things at your face, but the effect of things falling away into the background is much more pleasing anyways.

Re:What I have been telling people. (0)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707270)

There is nothing inherent in 3D that should be problematic.

Yes, there is. In Real Life (tm) you get fed one image. The view changes based on where you are, but is the exact same image fed to both eyes (the chair you are looking at is exactly the same chair for both eyes, even if the view is slightly different based on perspective).

But 3D is based on feeding separate images to each eye. These images do not change based on perspective, so if you move or turn your head, the image "breaks" with what reality would have been. Also, your lens would be focused on the surface of the object (50 feet or so away for a movie screen), however 3D effects are greatest when your eyes converge on the image at a much closer distance than that. So you'll end up focusing your lenses to 50 ft and your eyes cross at a closer distance. Such "minor" discrepancies are ignored by the adult eye. However, sufficient time viewing that in a developing eye can result in essentially breaking the brain.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707334)

Breaking the brain?

Oh, I don't think so. There is not a SHRED of evidence to support that.

Further, there is significant difference between the view seen by the two different eyes. Same scene, different position = different image.

The exact same thing happens with two cameras shooting the same action side by side, or CGI generation of images by moving the camera position in the rendering.

http://www.stereo3d.com/img/21st3dvx3.jpg [stereo3d.com]

You are correct about the focal distance being the same even as the object appears to approach. But that is the only flaw, and one your brain compensates for to a degree.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707458)

But that is the only flaw,

No, it isn't. In 3D, the focus is set. The shrubs in the foreground look closer, but you can't focus on them. The trees in the background look farther away, but you can't focus on them. Thus, any attempt to look outside the focal area defined when the print was made will result in eye operation differing from "normal."

They could easily make the whole thing in focus (and for 3D, they should), but that would break 2D focus, as your eyes wouldn't know what to focus on and would greatly lower enjoyment of the movie. The current biggest problem is that they are making movies for 2D/3D. They could "fix" a number of problems by making two separate films, rather than making one and presenting it in two ways, both flawed.

And no, those still aren't the only two flaws. I'm not interested in playing the "that's the only 10 flaws" game, nor arguing about whether you personally think they are significant enough to be considered "real" flaws. You stated "that is the only flaw" and I proved you wrong. As such, I would just point that out to anyone reading anything else you write on 3D that you have been incorrect on multiple points, as well as stating incorrect opinion as fact so that no matter how sure you appear, you are likely incorrect on that and all other 3D-related topics.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707514)

But that is the only flaw,

No, it isn't. In 3D, the focus is set. The shrubs in the foreground look closer, but you can't focus on them. The trees in the background look farther away, but you can't focus on them.

That is not a problem of 3D that is a limitation of cameras in general.

Further, with enough light and a small enough aperture, this is not a problem. Everything in the scene will be in focus.

There are reasons they hire professionals for this work.

Go see a well made 3D movie some time. You will see how utterly wrong you are.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706156)

> I will sure wait for while before getting myself a 3D TV just to better evaluate its effects on the human brain.

There are certain to be some effects, the only question is how bad are they?

The fundamental problem is 3D isn't reality. In the end it is just a pair of 2D images. We get depth information via both parallax and focus and 3D images only provide one of those sources of information. So you are watching a 3D movie, an object moves closer to the viewer according to the parallax information while both eyes are saying, no way, I'm still focused 100' out. But then as you look at what appears to be a near or far object your brain commands the focus mechanism in your eye to adjust and the picture becomes blurry. Until your brain retrains to kill the autofocus and stay on the one fixed focus that works. The movie ends, the house lights come up and now everything is blurry again until your brain switches the original autofocus back on. It is a veritable certainty that some people are going to have problems with making that adjustment, especially in a home environment where you aren't watching in the dark and some things carry focus information and other objects do not. Where you are immersed in a movie, jump up to go tinkle and smack into something and have a lawyer on speed dial.

And I'd hate to see a 3D converted movie that tried focus pulls. Nice trick to lead the viewer's attention to the important part of the scene in a 2D film but almost certain to cause chaos in 3D.

Re:What I have been telling people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706254)

You won't really have a choice about getting on with 3D or not. It's exactly like smoking, everyone does it at first because it's a symbol of status, and then it's trendy, Health risks are always found later.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706164)

You're right, of course. The human brain has evolved slowly over millions of years, and won't adapt to cope with 3D any day soon.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706496)

You'll go mad I say. Maaaaaaad!

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706556)

Nonsense. These disclaimers are just "cover-your-ass" disclaimers. 'Cos you just know some idiot's going to try sue. 3D is BASED on how the eyes and brain actually evolved over millions of years to work ... your eye can't even tell the difference between light rays entering it from a 3D system vs light rays entering your eyes from the real world, it's the same thing to your eyes.

The main reason some people feel disoriented is that people have variation in their interocular distance, while 3D systems must be designed based on some average interocular distance. If the distance between your eyes is notably narrower or wider than average, it'll look wrong because your brain has learned to visualize 3D based on your interocular distance. Your brain can adjust (and adjust back) but it can take a little time.

Your brain is designed to be able to adjust. In fact, this is PARTICULARLY true for small children --- if it were not, children's eyes would not be able to adapt as they grow, as their interocular distance by definition is increasing over time, and all children's eyes would be messed by age 6 because the brain 'set' itself by age 3. This doesn't happen.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707380)

your eye can't even tell the difference between light rays entering it from a 3D system vs light rays entering your eyes from the real world, it's the same thing to your eyes.

The real image would have the close parts at 10 feet, the medium parts at 50 feet, and the far away parts at 100+ feet. The 3D version has the close parts at 50 feet (assuming you are 50 feet from the screen) the medium parts at 50 feet, and the far away parts at 50 feet. The light, as it enters your eye, is different for those. Thus, you are proven wrong. There are a number of other physical differences between the light as well, but I don't need to prove you wrong more than once to have proven you wrong.

When you actually understand how light, eyes, and the brain works (why yes, I have studied optics, the eye, and the human brain in upper level and graduate level courses, how about you?), get back to us. As it is, you obviously don't know how it works now, and I wouldn't want anyone out there to think your incorrect opinion stated as fact is actually a correct statement. It's factually wrong on all counts.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

cinderellamanson (1850702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707426)

So, you're saying children will have a vastly below average interocular distance yet virtually all of their brains will be conditioned to adjust towards average for around 2-4hrs a day regardless of the interocular distance they eventually grow into. I think you've made the case that the 'average' interocular distance is best applied as a function of the age of the audience - possibly tied into ESRB or similar rating system.

On the other hand, I can see this as possibly having positive effects on things like geometric intelligence or correcting the oddity that is two dimensional dreaming.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

cinderellamanson (1850702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707516)

interestingly enough, if the ocular distance is adjusted accordingly, watching kid movies as an adult may very well make you feel like a kid again, unless of course you watched a bunch of 3d slasher movies as a child, which presumably would make growing into an average interocular distance similar to feeling like a serial killer. I know I'm well beyond my formal education here, but I'm certain that having ignored the hypnotic effects of television and video games up to this point is in no way comparable to the potential of a 3d environment which emulates a trigger point hard-wired into the child's growth cycle.

As an experiment, take the average ocular distance for an adult chimp, force a young chimp to participate in audio-visual hallucinations designed for an adult chimps average ocular distance. Exposure to such hallucinations should be greatest (rather extreme actually) when the chimp reaches toddler hood and slowly ween the chimp off as it approaches an average adult ocular distance. Presumably, you should be able to implant experiences in the chimp that will come to the front of his psyche as it reaches that particular moment of maturity when his real ocular distance matches that of the 3d experiences he was provided with as a toddler.

Re:What I have been telling people. (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706212)

Our TV died on Xmas eve and we've been out looking. 10 years ago we bought a 65" rear projection HDTV and was way ahead of the curve. We didn't really pay much of a premium USD2,800, but for the first couple years the HD selection was HBO, Showtime, and the HD Preview/Demo channel. It's only been in the last 2 - 3 years we've seen much HD content on our cable provider and we really won't get all the channels we regularly watch in HD until the middle of the year.

We just bought a 60" Plasma TV today for $1,100. The reason why we did was it seemed to have a good and motion was smooth. The 240Hz LED's were $1000 - $2000 more, especially one that was "3D ready". Well by the time with our original HDTV had HD Content we had gone from HD Componet to HDMI and 1080i to 1080p.

We figured we'd much rather save the $1,000 today and see where the technology goes...maybe something better in 5 years that is worth spending the $1,000 on at a later date.

Re:What I have been telling people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706280)

I doubted a 3D TV could be watched without side effects

2d TV can't be watched without "side effects". What is your point?

You've "been telling", but you seem to have done no research. So I'd better give you the quick version.

3d video in general = perfectly safe. some studies even show that it is safer than 2d

3d video delivery systems = some older/cheaper systems are flawed and could be mildly irritating

Anaglyph (colored glasses)= high disorientation - long term use can lead to minor reversible changes in vision

All modern theater or home theater polarized or shutter systems = no disorientation (beyond the placebo effect) and - no changes in vision

Glassless 3d = some nausea is possible depending on the system and how it is used - no changes in vision

I disagree. (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706302)

From TFA:

3D content 'delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes.'

This is not only false, but illogical as well. The whole purpose of having two eyes at different locations is to see two different images at once and see 3D. Showing the eyes two different images is exactly what should be happening. The problem is actually with the fact that a 3D video will have arbitrarily-selected and static areas of focus, while human eyes typically handle the focusing on their own. Because of this, uninformed people will watch the movie and accidentally (and usually repeatedly) try to change their focus and strain their eyes because the image does not change focus at all. If people would understand this and focus solely on what the video is focusing on, they typically wouldn't get headaches, provided the shuttering/refresh rate is also suitable.

I recently decided to explain this to my friends, and all of a sudden two of my friends who always had headaches after 15 minutes were able to watch a full movie, with off-the-shelf consumer 3D technology nonetheless. Go ahead; try it - just make a conscious effort to not focus on anything except what the video is focused on and watch the eye strain nearly disappear.

Re:I disagree. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706686)

From TFA:

3D content 'delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes.'

This is not only false, but illogical as well.

Which part is false? The fact that it delivers different images to each eye, or that it can impact the deelopment of children's vision?

The first part is obviously true.

The second part is not so obvious -- availability of 3D TV in the home with hours of content is just now becoming mainsteam.

Because of this, uninformed people will watch the movie and accidentally (and usually repeatedly) try to change their focus and strain their eyes because the image does not change focus at all.

Isn't this the crux of the problem with children? Their eyes are still learning how to operate - if they are trained to focus independent of perceived depth, then that could affect their eye development.

Re:What I have been telling people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706328)

Sony seems to be thinking of how to stop the enslaught of the Nintendo 3DS against their psp2.

impact on the "growth of children's eyes" (1)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34705936)

Do they end up larger or smaller in the end?

Re:impact on the "growth of children's eyes" (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706058)

Larger, if eye size in anime is any indicator.

Re:impact on the "growth of children's eyes" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706870)

[Affected eyes end up] Larger, if eye size in anime is any indicator.

At least it's less drastic than what Pop-Tarts do to your head [youtube.com] .

which one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34705938)

sony or nintendo??

Re:which one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34705984)

who's on first?

Re:which one (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706638)

It's really bizarre that every comment that has pointed out this error has been modded down to -1. Facts are overrated, I guess.

Re:which one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706824)

It's because slashdot is now a meeting place of old people, who can't take new technologies without complaining, and if needed be, they are dragged into it , kicking and screaming. I'm 30 myself, and every time I see some new tech, the comments point out:

  - It's not going to work
  - The old way is better
  - It's commercially inviable
  - some retarded plural of virus
  - uncanny valley
  - drm

So, yeah, 3d is a bad tech, will never work and harms your eyes. Nothing is cool around these parts anymore. If you find something cool, we will snob you.

    Carl Bunn

Well so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34705940)

I'd be more worried about their brains.

Re:Well so... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706724)

no tv destroys brains, video games short attention spans
tv destroys brains because its passive not because its electronic
(schools are also passive and therefor unbearably boring to people who are used to active edutainment is the real cause for any of the common misconsepsoin)

Nintendo or Sony? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34705952)

Durrrrrrrrrr

Will anyone pay attention? (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34705958)

Doesn't Nintendo already have warning on gameboy game instruction manuals telling you to take breaks for your eyes every thirty minutes?

Re:Will anyone pay attention? (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34705968)

It's just easier to save up all those breaks and have them in one go when you go to bed.

Nothing new here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34705998)

This is absolutely no new news. This finding was determined many, many years ago when game developers were looking to build 3d games. There was conclusive evidence that 3d viewing caused serious eye problems and that children should avoid all 3d movies and games or suffer permanent eye damage.

Of course, none of this stuff has been brought up with all the excitement about 3d televisions and game consoles.

The quoted ophthalmologist is an idiot.

Re:Nothing new here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34707056)

This is absolutely no new news. This finding was determined many, many years ago when game developers were looking to build 3d games. There was conclusive evidence that 3d viewing caused serious eye problems and that children should avoid all 3d movies and games or suffer permanent eye damage.

Of course, none of this stuff has been brought up with all the excitement about 3d televisions and game consoles.

The quoted ophthalmologist is an idiot.

There is also conclusive evidence that if you keep make funny faces, they will stick one day.

There might be something to it (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706022)

Maybe this is just over-cautiousness in an age of lawyers. But there might be something to it.

I have one eye that is much better than the other. The eye doctor told me that, as I was growing, I somehow got in the habit of mostly using one eye and not using the other much; he said that as you grow, your eyes need exercise so they will grow correctly, and one of my eyes didn't get that exercise. Had this been caught when I was younger, I might have had a bandage put over my better eye for a while, to force me to use my worse eye. (But my eye doctor told me that the modern thinking is just to correct the vision of the worse eye; if the brain gets good input from both eyes, it will go ahead and use both of them instead of just one. So the modern thinking is not to cover the good eye, just correct the vision in the bad eye.) My eye doctor never called it "lazy eye" but I wonder if that is what I had.

Probably because of the above, I have terrible 3D depth perception. (I think it has improved a bit since I started wearing glasses that correct my vision from my worse eye, but it's still bad.)

Then there are the 3D headaches. I have read that the problem is that the actual distance to the screen is fixed, but the images can be nearer or farther away from the actual screen. So it makes me wonder if hours of 3D gaming could train a child's eyes to fix on a near distance and be detrimental to development in some way.

There might be nothing to this, but it seems sensible to take precautions. We don't have a large body of medical knowledge yet on the possible effects of 3D gaming, and if I were a parent, I wouldn't dismiss this warning.

It might take many many hours for 3D video to mess up a growing child's vision. But there are children out there who might invest those hours in a really fun 3D game. Heck, my nephew can watch the same movie over and over for hours, let alone a fun video game.

steveha

Re:There might be something to it (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706172)

OTOH there is another way the eye gets two different images of the same thing, which it then has to reinterpret into a 3D scene; looking at something in the real world.

Re:There might be something to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706178)

> Then there are the 3D headaches.
Oh great. Everything else is going 3D, and now headaches are too? I'm going to be getting headaches from my headaches!

Re:There might be something to it (4, Informative)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707060)

It's not over-cautiousness. This issue has been known for some time.

Children under about 10-12 shouldn't be exposed to any artificial stereoscopy as it can cause developmental impairment. Whether it's used for games is beside the point - movies and television pose the same risk. Really, any use of stereoscopy to create the illusion of 3D. The technology imperfectly replicates real visual stimuli from a 3D environment. Exposing children to it, particularly regularly or for long sessions, can cause the brain to try and adapt to the wrong set of stimuli.

Watching Avatar in 3D once is probably okay but should probably be avoided. Watching movies in 3D every weekend is probably bad. Using a 3DS daily for several hours at a time is probably going to cause some degree of harm. Gaming tends to long sessions, frequent use, and attentive focus.

Re:There might be something to it (3, Informative)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707086)

Also, note that it's not "3D" itself that's the problem. We look at the real world all the time, right? The problem is that the methods used to create the illusion of 3D do not completely mimic the real thing. Stereoscopy is something of a first step. There has been research into systems which do a more complete job, and they can significantly cut down on things like headaches and simulator sickness. We'll probably see this in our consumer electronics one day, but all modern consumer 3D display technology has these issues.

Re:There might be something to it (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707542)

I have terrible 3D depth perception.
 
I have NO 3D perception at all. I hear people saying that television and movie screens and photographs look flat, but they look perfectly normal to me. That's how I see the world.
 
The reason is because I have one very weak eye and always have -- I can see shapes and movement with that eye and that's about it. Since I have always been/seen that way, I take what I see as being normal, and have no idea in anything other than a vague theoretical sense as to what anything in 3D would actually look like.
 
Like anything else, when you don't know what you're missing you don't miss it, so it really doesn't bother or affect me in any way.
 
I have no problem with depth perception as such; I know when the curb is in front of my foot and how far the approaching car is away from my own vehicle. How do I do it? I don't really know how to explain it, it's just how things are. How do you do it with 3D vision? You just do it, right? Same question.

Something tells me.. (1)

nxsty (942984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706026)

Their objective here is not getting sued rather than preventing eye damage..

Re:Something tells me.. (1)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707094)

It's not eye damage so much as brain damage. But the visual system gets fubared either way.

I think the Virtual Boy had the cautionary on it (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706052)

I think the Virtual Boy had the same cautionary notes on it

Synopsis is wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706062)

"Fox News reports that NINTENDO has posted a cautionary note...."
The topic is about Nintendo, not Sony, yet not a single mention of Nintendo until you click the links.

Which is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706076)

The summary says Sony is the one doing the warning, but the title mentions Nintendo... it's ok though, all Asians look the same!

Vaguely related... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706086)

On a vaguely related note, adorable kittens are excellent model organisms [youtube.com] for visual cortex plasticity research. It will be interesting to see if the various quasi-"3d" tricks used in "3d" media have any cool neurological effects on humanspawn(since who seriously thinks that kiddies are going to be taking regular breaks and limiting their gaming to minimal amounts a day?)

Wow! You really can go blind watching 3D porn?! (2)

Bad Mamba Jamba (941082) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706098)

And here I thought it was a myth...

Summary Fail (2, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706106)

Fox News reports that Sony has posted a cautionary note on its Japanese website

Should be:

Fox News reports that Nintendo has posted a cautionary note on its Japanese website

Seeing as how this is a Nintendo story and if you read TFA the warning was in fact posted on Nintendo's site.

Re:Summary Fail (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707032)

The story also mentions a previous warning put out by Sony, so you need to read TFA a little closer yourself.

Holy Nintendo Virtual Boy, Batman! (2)

theodp (442580) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706180)

Nintendo gave simlar warnings 15 years ago: Virtual Boy, Nintendo’s Big 3-D Flop, Turns 15 [wired.com]

Re:Holy Nintendo Virtual Boy, Batman! (1, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706274)

I have a Virtual Boy practically mint in the box. I orginally got mine back in 1996 new. I've only used it for a few weeks from the moment it was purchase, but since then I've kept it in the box with all the original packing material.

As of a few months ago, I turned it on only to notice the left view had a display problem. Turns out this is quite normal for *all* Virtual Boys as the area where the strip of LEDs and ribbon cable meet break down. Something about the material and how it ages. Anyways, be careful buying one on e-bay. I seem to recall that some of them have this problem. If not, eventually it will. If you're real good with a soldering iron however, they can be fixed.

Good to know (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706298)

I also have one, still in a box and partly used... it's good to know if it's flaked out there's a fix that can be done. Being from fifteen years ago or so, I figure it should have solder joints the size of my fist I can easily re-do.

Re:Good to know (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706396)

It's far from easy. In fact, might even rank up there as the most difficult game console to repair without causing further damage.

Check out this video. Don't mind the guy dropping the f-bombs, but it's still a good video on how and where to proceed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFQAsEqwh3M&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:Good to know (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707422)

Actually that looks pretty easy to me - one of the comments even mentioned you could probably use a heat gun instead of the oven, which would be a lot safer... since all you have to do is slightly re-melt the glue and apply a clamp, it looks very doable.

I agree the whole "bit" thing looks very annoying, but I'll bet applied pressure with some other kind of bit would get the deep screw out eventually - if you're going to replace the screws anyway, it doesn't matter if they are terribly stripped (unless you are looking to keep it pristine but what good is a dead pristine system, I say!)

Thanks for the video, it's gotten me interested enough to look and see how my system is doing.

Classic CYA (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706204)

Why bother determining what effects, if any, the technology has on ocular development when you can just add in a disclaimer.

Warning: Reading this post may result in cancer, muscular degeneration, general anxiety, increased blood pressure, warts, rectal bleeding, congestion, stomach pains, feelings of malaise, or general bad shit happening. Read at your own risk.

No point in 3D at that age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706232)

Kids that age don't really understand "3D" anyway, so they aren't really missing out on anything special by only giving them the standard 2D until they're older. I remember being 7 or 8 when the local tv station had a 3D movie night, and whilst I understood the principle well enough, I didn't really *get* a sense of 3d when I watched it. That realisation happened in highschool when I found a book in the library that had stereophotography in it, and I've been a rabid fan ever since.

The bigger problem is giving things to kids that make them want to stare at an object 1 foot from their face for hours on end. But that's afflicted book-loving outcast kids since time immemorial; this just makes the mainstream kids have to wear glasses too. :)

My TV FROM THE FUTURE (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706270)

Odd, my several month old 3D TV has the EXACT same warning on it, but it was made before this article about Nintendo was posted on Slashdot. Either this isn't news at all, or *gasp* my TV is FROM THE FUTURE!

No kidding. Known for years. (4, Informative)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706296)

This has been covered half a dozen times yet no one in the media gets it: 3D that is being popularized strains the eyes and messes with the brain. I've yet to see a movie that states you shouldn't drive for 2 hours after watching it to let your depth perception recover- because it has been hacked at with the method of presentation.

Everyone LOVES 3D that really pops- and to get that level of pop the eyes must be further and further strained outwards. While this is fine for the short term, immediate needs doing it for any length of time is a huge stressor.

Unfortunately I am at home and don't have any of the papers that were published in the late 80's and 90's about these issues. Sega (damn memory) had a unit that was going to be 3D capable but ended up canning it for a variety of issues- including the health of children. Obviously now adays that isn't a concern and money, as always, comes first.

I know of some military groups that prohibit their members from operating a vehicle for 8 hours after performing 2-4 hours of stereo work. They must be driven home by a buddy. That's not over-reacting in my opinion.

Crewmen of submarines must recover their 3D vision after spending so long cooped up with nothing 'far' available to be seen. They're also banned from operating vehicles while in port for some duration.

Why is it any surprise that a developing brain can be traumatized by seeing something that it wasn't wired to see?

Go ahead- screw your kids up. Mine won't be. I've got hundreds of other ways to mess them up :)

Re:No kidding. Known for years. (2)

netfoo (1729856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706862)

3D is harmful, especially for children. It is well known. Hollywood doesn't want to hear about it because they expect to make so much money off of it, nor do TV manufacturers, cable/sat, or content providers. I would rather see higher than 24 fps for films. Action scenes don't have to be blurry.

Re:No kidding. Known for years. (2)

jammer170 (895458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707590)

Given that I was under ten years old for most of the 80s, I'd really like to see those scientific studies. Honestly, America is so sue-happy right now, practically anything and everything I see from a company's lawyers I assume is covering their company's ass, and not in any way representative of actual scientific study. I would point out that most (if not all) cellular companies have similar warnings for their cell phones absolving them of any health issue due to radio waves (despite the lack of any valid scientific study linking radio waves to health issues).

To put it another way, [citation needed].

Vaguely related... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706362)

As it turns out, adorable kittens are a very useful model organism [youtube.com] for visual cortex plasticity...

It will be interesting to see what, if any, strange neurological effects early and heavy exposure to the various more-or-less-unknown-in-nature quasi-3d tricks used for "3d" media have on the visual cortexes and/or eye muscles of the humanspawn...

Sega said thing (and /. reported it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706368)

looks like someone should link this in ...
http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/06/26/2059205/3D-Displays-May-Be-Hazardous-To-Young-Children

CYA (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706416)

thinks Nintendo and Sony may be getting ahead of themselves with these disclaimers. 'It's hard to say that it'll ruin development,' says Ehrenhaus."

From the Lawyers' perspective, it is probably a really better idea to take a conservative view of exercising caution, and warning customers about possible threats that might not exist.

Than to just throw caution to the wind, let the technology fly, and get sued for billions, if negative effects are discovered later.

By warning up front, the parents will be liable.

It will be as if the technology was known to be able to cause harm if misused, and PROPERLY warned about.

Now if someone overuses 3D games without breaks, and the unstudied effects of excessive use turn out to be harmful, then Sony/Nintendo's responsibility for the bad thing that happened is less, because they did the responsible thing by specifically warning that the the excessive usage without breaks MIGHT be harmful, AND structuring of the warnings as if it was already known harmful.

A less optimistic possibility is Sony/Nintendo know somehow it is in fact harmful, through internal studies, and they're keeping the info secret. That means Ehrenhaus might not have access to the information required to properly evaluate whether Sony/NES are getting ahead of themselves or not.

No matter how kids play with themselves... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706464)

... I guess they are just doomed to go blind.

Lazy Eye and 3D (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706500)

I think I'm beginning to get a handle on the damage 3D could do. Our everyday vision depends on our eyes maintaining the correct alignment (parallel I think, though I'm not absolutely sure about that). The brain then uses the differences in the images from eye to another to infer the distances to various objects, creating our sense of dimensionality. With real physical objects, if one eye goes out of alignment, the brain will immediately get a sense of this, causing the eye to go back into alignment. When watching 3D movies, each eye receives a different picture, thanks to the polarized glasses, and the brain interpolates dimension out of this. If say, the left eye goes out of alignment, then the left eye will still receive nearly the same picture, except that it will be laterally displaced. I can imaging that the brain would be able to shift the picture laterally back in order to produce a 3D effect. Thus, the eyes and brain could successfully build a 3D image even though the eyes are misaligned. If our visual system became habitualized to this, it could result in a lazy eye in some susceptible people.

What? (1, Insightful)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706562)

Reality delivers different left and right images. So reality must be bad for visual development also.

Focus. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706890)

Reality also delivers images at different focal depths, as other people have pointed out in comments to this story.

The kids these days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34706700)

When I was your age, I went blind the old fashioned way: By jerking off. And I liked it!

hahah, best darwin gimmick yet! (1)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34706950)

OR, better yet, take the warning labels off everything, and let the problem solve itself?

mmmm honesty from the manufacturers.. and... (1)

houbou (1097327) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707008)

imagine this.. for Nintendo and Sony to give out such warning... Considering that Nintendo has been experimenting for years with 3D tech.. I would take that as a serious warning. These companies have R&D, etc.. I don't think this is just "guesswork". Now, this Dr Michael Ehrenhaus doesn't agree.
I wonder who pays him to make such a statement. Maybe Toshiba.. or any other 3D TV vendor? :)

What is the research? (1)

Calgary Computer (1967696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707024)

What makes Sony think 3D may hurt the growth of children's eyes? Is there any research? And of course we should all take regular breaks from 3D or any other type of electronic games and maybe, say, toss a ball in the park, or something.

CYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34707146)

Pure and simple.

By making this statement they go a long ways toward absolving themselves of blame in some future unforseen lawsuit. Who knows, maybe 5 or 10 years from now, some researcher will discover something.

3D Fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34707222)

The 3d fad pops up every 10 years or so- I will be happy when this cycle is over.

Cover your ass, or FUD? (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707432)

People seem to think that this is Nintendo (summary went and confused people by claiming it was sony) covering their ass. On the other hand, the 3DS is 3D but not stereoscopic 3D. The type of 3D used by the 3DS appears not to be covered by this warning.

Problems kids may have with 3D (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707544)

It's well known that stereoscopic images aligned "beyond infinity", which force the eyes to cross to fuse the image, induce headaches. This can happen inadvertently when images aligned for adult eye spacing are viewed by kids.

Then there's the problem that watching a stereoscopic image with the head angled induces eye alignment problems. That's unlikely in theaters, but lie on a couch and watch a 3D TV. You will not have a pleasant experience. Maybe stereo glasses should switch to mono mode when they're more than a few degrees off vertical.

Stereoscopy is kind of bogus, anyway. Beyond a few meters, real-world stereo effects are nil. Fake zoomed-in stereoscopy is inherently kind of weird. Incidentally, if you were bothered by Avatar, realize that Avatar is about as good as stereoscopic 3D gets. Cameron uses it well, with restraint. Nothing in Avatar appears in front of the screen. Most filmmakers overdo it. Most Disney "Real3D" is really fake 3D, applied by segmentation, depth adjustment, and compositing in post. It shows.

There's a worry that kids exposed to too much fake 3D early in life may never get the relationship between stereo separation, depth of focus, and stereo from motion firmly etched into their brains. We'll know in a decade.

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