When Nintendo announced the 3DS, they made sure to make the press aware that children should have the 3D effect disabled if they were going to use the handheld console. Manufacturers of 3D HDTV sets have also included warnings that stated that there is a possible health risk to certain viewers, and have provided guidance that children should be limited in their 3D exposure. Year ago, Sega was going to release a 3D virtual reality headset that was quickly and quietly shelved, despite being seen as the future of gaming 15 years ago. Now news has come out that all of these warnings are based on years of research cover ups, and the details are finally being brought out now that 3D entertainment is much more readily available than it was in years past.
In a nutshell, the problem is that children under 7 are still developing their vision, and the 3D effect actually forces you into strabismus, essentially giving yourself temporary lazy eye. Since children are still developing, you run a severe risk of having them end up with permanent strabismus (or, lazy eye.) This is the reason that so many manufacturers want to be overly cautious with the use of 3D as it pertains to children, and it’s also a good reason for parents to sit up and take notice as well. Now that 3D HDTVs are on the market, we’ve gone from having super rare opportunity to view 3D content, to a bunch of animated movies incorporating it (so, 2-6 hours per month, depending on how often you go to those,) to potentially having 3D on in your home on a constant basis.
A lot of higher-ups within the consumer electronics industry point to the fact that the data is 15 years old, and that they may be new factors since the technology has advanced. However, the fact remains that all content that shows a different image to each eye (which is all 3D) forces you into strabismus. More research is needed to find out if 3D HDTV is safe for children, as well as adults, especially for prolonged lengths of time.
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