Skip to main content

Experts: 3DS won't harm toddlers

Kids, it might actually be good for you.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Contrary to warnings recently offered by Nintendo, the 3DS does not have the potential to damage the eyesight of children under six, so say medical experts.

In response to Nintendo's recommendation that children under six should only use the system in 2D mode, a number of specialists have told The New York Times that 3D visuals present no threat to youngsters' vision.

"The fact you'd watch 3D in a theater or a video game should have zero deleterious impact whatsoever," said Dr. Lawrence Tychsen, a professor of pediatrics and ophthalmology at Washington University in St. Louis.

David Granet, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the University of California at San Diego added "I don't think that parents need to worry about kids playing video games, 3D or otherwise, from a vision perspective. The bigger question for parents is: Do you really want your three-year-old playing a video game?"

The American Optometric Association has gone one step further. It issued a statement today claiming that watching 3D visuals can actually be beneficial to kids' development.

The body declared that the 3DS "isn't necessarily bad for adults or children" and that "3D viewing may actually help uncover subtle disorders that, left uncorrected, often result in learning difficulties".

However, Nintendo is sticking to its guns. The platform holder reiterated its hardline stance on any pre-schoolers considering checking out the handheld's whizz-bang visual gimmick.

"Nintendo's position is children six and under should not use the 3D feature of Nintendo 3DS, and parents should use the Parental Controls feature to restrict access to the 3D mode," said Nintendo communications boss Charlie Scibetta.

The proof will be in the pudding. Nintendo's new console hits the stores some time in March. We'll post a man down the local optician to check for lines of sobbing sprogs clutching their peepers.

Read this next