Doctor: “3DS Makes Children Cross-Eyed!”


A Japanese ophthalmologist warns of the possibility of severe damage to the eyes of young children should they use the 3DS.

The doctor’s warning:

3D images are bad for the eyes of infants. Nintendo says as much, and for children not to use it. The reason is that there is the possibility of damaging the eye’s balance and inducing squinting/strabismus.

[The author points to an article detailing Nintendo’s own vague health warnings about the 3DS]

They say it “may interfere with the development of the eye.”

I think most general readers will take that to mean something like this:

DS = games, games = short-sightedness, short-sightedness = glasses required

That is to say, just something like the existing warning on the DS, and perhaps easily avoidable through regular breaks.

However, for children up to the age of 6 the eye’s sense of depth and three-dimensionality is still developing, and 3D images may have a great deal of influence on that.

On top of that, there are some very severe cases arising from all this.

I mentioned before how viewing “3D” images can strain your eyes. That is because when you focus on a point, each eye’s direction converges on that point. Normally both end up balanced on that point.

However, when you view a “3D” image, that balance can be disturbed, causing eye strain.


There was a case like this: a 4-year-old boy developed chronic strabismus after watching a 3D movie, and the condition did not improve. Eventually he had to undergo surgery.

This may be a rare instence, but it is certainly safer not to let children under 6 use the 3DS at all, or to ensure the 3D setting is turned all the way off at all times.

Other experts have raised health doubts of varying severity about the 3DS, and Nintendo’s own health advisory explicitly warns against children under 6 using the 3DS for long periods (Sony also has similar disclaimers on its 3D products).

Many adult users (just how many is not really clear due to the limited availability of the device pre-release) have also complained of eye strain and other adverse effects from the 3DS.

Nintendo has evidently foreseen these complaints, resulting in the addition of the adjustable “3D strength” setting.

Whilst the 3DS has what looks to be a great line-up, reasonable hardware and a good gimmick, releasing a 3D device marketed in no small part to children may yet prove to be a colossal minefield – eye problems in children or random adults could easily turn into mass litigation and dismal PR however scrupulous Nintendo’s disclaimers, not least in the US…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    09:09 07/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    And here I thought it was my fapping.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:17 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And here I see a person who is so gay he is retarded for masturbating. Betrayers of God always have their intelligence taken away and are abandoned. Guess that's you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:40 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your grammar is so bad, it makes me think that you are retarded. Oh wait, you are retarded.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:23 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    God..? Have you seen what God(dess) I worship in Silent Hill..?

    A reincarnating loli who got burned and split herself into two, then turned into another loli which merged with her burned half, then gave birth to herself after transforming into a demonic goat-head, then growing up again for the 3rd time under the name Heather Mason...

    I guess I will have to introduce you my boss one of these days...He loves nothing more than masturbating his penis inside the rectum of both saints and sinners~

    -Azure Xuchilbara
    (account suspended)

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:13 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...they've got a cave troll...!

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    12:13 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Cmon for only 3hrs battery life you could be cross eyed? Playing PC games in 20hrs straight(my record) I only got eye bug with a little redness.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    12:20 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    That means 3DS is not fit for children anymore can it be a 3D eroge game in the future...

    Avatar of Lonesnipa
    Comment by Lonesnipa
    03:02 08/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can need glasses after reading in improper conditions for too long...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Can you go blind from reading?


    Can you go cross-eyed from reading?


    But can you go blind/cross-eyed from reading text in 3D?


    Avatar of Lonesnipa
    Comment by Lonesnipa
    13:52 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    3d eroge would be interesting.

    Does anyone else find it amusing that people keep saying that 3d can cause damage to peoples eyes as if this is something new? Its been brought up every damn month since the 3ds was announced.

    Nintendo can't even get sued for this because they HAVE warned people about this. Not that this will stop people from trying of course.

    Oddly enough, as someone who suffers from chronic migraines I have never had an issue with 3d movies. I've yet to see a 3ds in person so that may be different, but I hope not I'd rather like a 3ds.

    One final thing since I'm typing too much, READING can cause fucking eyestrain. Regular TV can cause eyestrain. Just putting that out there.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    08:57 07/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    "Okay Doctor, how much did Sony pay you?"
    "Whatever they're offering, we'll triple it if you announce NGP will make users blind."

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    09:28 07/02/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    Doctor Proves 2D > 3D

    (okay, his argument is based on a single case where it can't even be shown that 3D was actually the cause rather than coincidental, but we'll forget about that part in the name of humour)

    Avatar of Minako
    Comment by Minako
    11:16 07/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    "Disgusting 3D Pigs"(TM) make you cross-eyed?

    Oh, wow...

    Avatar of KiTA
    Comment by KiTA
    15:49 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget about "in the name of cash-in" -- Humor's nice, but lets not neglect the "old man shakes cane at cloud" angle here, either.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    16:22 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ironic as this all may be, I might get the NGP/PSP2 over it because of all this.

    Honestly, I have no problems with 3D at all, but I o get eyestrain quite a bit more with them over longer stretches.

    I'm pretty sure this issue will inflame all sorts of crazy fanboy wars in PSP2/3DS and various gaming forums.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:45 08/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't see how this would be any different from a 3D movie.

    Supposedly you'll only have about a movie length of battery on the 3DS, so yea...

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    09:12 07/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    This is what I was afraid of. I've had a bad sense about 3D since I heard about it. I couldn't handle 3D movies initially, my eyes hurt too much. These doctors are right, and only an idiot would truly turn it into some kind of fanboy thing. I know you were joking, Yoshii-kun, but there are seriously some people who would believe it.

    I sincerely think the 3D craze is going to have some issues in the not-so-distant future. Much like how everyone in Vietnam who used the giant portable phones died from brain cancer. I'm going to avoid 3D, it's not worth it except for random movies here and there. My eyes are already failing as it is.

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    09:17 07/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    inb4 someone from Amerikka sues

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:20 07/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    someone call phoenix wright.

    Avatar of AiEm
    Comment by AiEm
    19:23 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    True that. 3d actualy sucks balls during the long run. I mean I can sit down only 1 1/2~2 hours max in front of a screen like that. Doing it longer will just be downright punishment in my case.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    09:35 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Never liked 3D anyway. Eye fatigue from constant staring for 2-3 hours with coloured eyewear is much too tiring.

    Plus, 3D and prescription glasses don't go well At. All.

    I might go blind before 50 anyways with so much lights from devices burning my retinas these days, HouseLife.(● ω ●)

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    20:41 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's true, but it's much more like I-Spy type technology where your eyes enter a strange focal point in order to register the two images. Then again there are various forms.

    The glasses are one of many methods, but all of them are... well... not being tested right now. And pain doesn't lie.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    11:03 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I assume you realize I'm mentioning the technology in general, not the product from nintendo and you're pulling my leg there with a pun.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:27 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 3D they're using these days doesn't require colored eyewear, and in the case of the 3ds, you don't need glasses at all!

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:28 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I already have Convergence Excess (the condition where the eyes converge too much inward when I focus on something), so I want to know where this puts me.
    I'll be going through eye therapy in the future, too, so... would this kind of thing affect that?

    Gosh darnit. Video games are getting too "futuristic." As good a thing that is, I still think it's too fast. D:

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:51 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, it might be right. I feel my eyes very tired after a 3D movie (I'm kinda avoiding them) and I've had nausea with some 3D equipment. Of course that's just me who has never felt nausea on ships and airplanes. Cheers to the 3D future.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    09:14 07/02/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Hahaha are you working for Nintendo or a fanboy?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:44 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    nintendo themselves said that you shouldnt give the 3ds to small children, even though it might cut into sales

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:08 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    thats nothing new. 3D movies and stuff have always been bad for developing kids.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:08 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Young kids are still gonna get it. How else are they gonna get the new Mario/Zelda/Pokemon?

    Avatar of mix
    Comment by mix
    09:07 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    seriously, who give a nds / 3ds to children under 6 anyway? they will stab their eyes blind first than the strabismus to give any noticeable effect.

    and anyway, i call bullshit on the 3d movie story, since watching 3d movie with glasses won't require you to cross your eyes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:20 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's not like children often drop and break every toy they get their hands into anyway.

    Oh wait.

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    09:14 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    children under 6 shouldn't be playing video games ffs

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:36 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was gaming on the NES and whatnot before I hit kindergarten, and it didn't seem to cause any issues. If anything, it greatly improved my motivation to learn to read; games like FF1 and MOO2 are hard to play/learn when you're illiterate.

    Avatar of mix
    Comment by mix
    11:45 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i hope you played the NES version.... because if not you're far too young to be in this site.

    Avatar of mix
    Comment by mix
    09:16 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    finally, someone who speaks my language!

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    15:56 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    nintendos 3d system takes no time to get use to unlike current theaters.

    i have glasses due to shitty genetics.

    you dont go cross eyed by looking at the 3ds, i know people who cant even cross their eyes, if you cant look at something close to you, than re adjust, there is something wrong with you.

    and lastly, current 3d tvs have a flicker if you have good eye site, i can see the 60hz refresh on home models. so i cant get 3d yet, at lest till 120hz glasses are introduced.

    this whold 3d thing is all bullshit.

    you dont give a less than 6 year old a handheld system, you give them full consoles, because their rage may break a 250$ system, but even a 3 year old know better than to hit the fucking tv.

    Avatar of dMITIC
    Comment by dMITIC
    Avatar of jamesownsall
    Comment by jamesownsall
    08:55 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wouldn't give a 3DS to any kids under 6. They might end up swallowing it, haha.

    Avatar of mix
    Comment by mix
    09:03 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    or, more likely, they will swallow the touchpen.

    Avatar of James
    Comment by James
    09:34 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Honey what are you doing to the baby?"
    "Trying to get the touchpen back....our kid just ate it."

    Comment by Shadowmen
    09:29 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But think about it what if they choke on the pen or what if they swallo the whole system that will be crazy right

    Avatar of Plagus777
    Comment by Plagus777
    17:48 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    My grandpa played with dirt.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:04 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of a previous 3D system, the Virtual Boy. It had a warning on it not to let children under the age of 7 play it, or it would damage their eyes. It was later discovered that it could damage the eyes of anyone actually, even a 16 year-old like I was at the time. But that came out too late for me. My 20/20 vision never came back. :/

    Just as well I can't afford to buy this thing when it launches, I guess.

    Avatar of SEGAGIGA
    Comment by SEGAGIGA
    15:29 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL. Did it ever came to mind that you were just getting old and your vision is not young as it used to be? Getting poor vision has more to do with genetics and poor diet than watching 3D images.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:30 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why would you give such an expensive, and "advanced", as some may call it, to a kid under the age of 6?

    Avatar of Sukunai
    Comment by Sukunai
    11:37 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thank god for a wealth of hand held quasi touch screen enabled mini computer wannabes entering the market this year.

    Hey you just go with your 3d if you must, I will be looking forward to a large screened device instead.

    Avatar of comorbid
    Comment by comorbid
    12:13 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    So does screwing up a preschooler's vision work for or against Pictochat child molesters lurking on the opposite end of the food court or riding 2 cars over?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:14 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Alas for nin's gadget and shareholders, eye strain is real, even for adults. As developer, i can toy with the SDK : i can assure you that after 10 consecutive minutes of use, it's becoming uncomfortable (depends upon individuals)
    i always felt that the "10minutes pause every hour" warning was for epileptia-prone or weaklings only, but this is about to be "one hour pause every 10minutes" for 3DS

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:22 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess this just goes to show that you can't play games for too long. At least just play from 30 to 60 minutes, and then you'll be fine.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:27 07/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, don't give a 3DS to your infants.
    I don't see the problem here. I wouldn't even give a regular DS to an infant.

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