3D Gaming...Nah, It Won't Kill Your Eyes

Posted: Aug 12 2010, 5:45am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 12 2010, 8:49am CDT, in News | Gaming


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Despite the ludicrously fearsome warnings that companies like Sony have issued over the new stereoscopic 3D TV images, there's really nothing to worry about.
Of course, watching movies or playing games in 3D is a different experience than the typical SD or HD viewing experience. And it is true that some people will have adverse effects such as dizziness or disorientation. But, as for long-term side effects, you really shouldn't be shaking in your boots.

Gamasutra interviewed ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Borchert, a local doctor in California, who said stereoscopic 3D gaming is "not likely to cause any permanent harm to vision."

"There are people who get uncomfortable with it, and get eye strain or headaches, or on much rarer occasions, a sense of imbalance or nausea, but there's no evidence it can cause permanent harm to your vision or use of both eyes together or anything like that," he added.

That is, at least, for adult viewers. Borchert admitted that he really didn't know how or if viewing 3D content has a different impact on very young children. Nintendo has a specific warning for its 3DS that urges parents to be careful about letting anyone under six years old play with the system unsupervised.

That's because development of the eye continues for the first few years of a child's life. However, Gamasutra's ophthalmologist said it was more likely to be only the first three years that mattered. "So it's unlikely that children at that age, where stereoscopic vision is developing most critically, are going to be playing these games," he said.

So, yeah, we can have fun at the fact that legal departments force companies to put warning labels that would make cigarette companies shake their heads. But really, you should feel comfortable to play those eye-popping 3D games to your heart's content. Your eyes aren't really going to pop out.

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