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Doctor: 3D Won't Damage Gamers' Eyesight

| 12 Aug 2010 14:59
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Despite current fears that 3D gaming will make us go blind, that's probably not going to happen.

A prominent ophthalmologist has allayed concerns that playing videogames in 3D over prolonged periods of time will destroy eyesight. Mark Borchert of the American Academy of Ophthalmology told Gamasutra that there's basically nothing to worry about.

"It's not likely to cause any permanent harm to vision," he said. "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."

For adults, there appears to be no indication that 3D gaming is going to harm us. However, Borchert did confirm that young children can damage their eyesight if they play games in 3D at too young an age, but younger an age than previously believed.

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime admitted that children under the age of seven shouldn't play games in 3D or watch 3D movies because of medicine's uncertainty over their effects on developing peepers. Borchert lowers that age to four. He reveals: "[Binocularity and stereoscopic vision] is something that is learned in the first few years of life, primarily in about the first three years of life. So it's unlikely that children at that age, where stereoscopic vision is developing most critically, are going to be playing these games."

"I can't imagine how this is going to cause any kind of permanent harm to someone who is over four years of age," Borchert concluded. Doomsday theorists that thought 3D gaming would turn us into mutants forced to wander the Earth blindly can relax, as long as they don't give a Nintendo 3DS to a four-year-old. It'll have to be regular DSi XL until then.

(Gamasutra)

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