France’s ANSES (Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) has found that exposure to stereoscopic 3D images, such as those used on 3D televisions and the 3DS’ screen, may impair the development of children’s visual structures.
In a study published in November, ANSES states that the process the brain uses to manage stereoscopic signals may be damaging kids’ eyesight. While an adult may simply experience headaches or eye fatigue, a child viewing for the same period of time may suffer permanent damage to their eyes, and the part of the brain that processes the 3D signal. They recommend that children under 6 do not engage in the viewing or use of stereoscopic 3D devices at all, while also stating that children under 13 should use them in closely-monitored moderation.
Nintendo issued a response, citing the fact that it has—for some time—recommended that children under six do not use the 3D features of their devices. Their statement is, as follows:
“We acknowledge the results of the ANSES study into the effects of 3D technologies and have supported corresponding recommendations since the launch of Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
We have always advised that parents and caregivers restrict the use of 3D for children aged six and under, by using Parental Controls to restrict access to the 3D mode. In fact anyone playing on a Nintendo 3DS can use the 3D depth slider to scale back the 3D effect or even turn it off completely at any time.
Since then, we also launched Nintendo 2DS, which allows anyone, including children aged six and under, to enjoy playing a console that renders games and images in 2D mode only.
Finally, regardless of age, we recommend that consumers take periodic breaks when playing on a games console, whether this is in 3D mode or not.”
Hopefully, this information will get around to parents planning to buy a 3DS for their tykes in the upcoming holiday season.