According to a new study, not only do 3D films carry a massively heightened risk of causing headaches, the technology also does nothing to increase a viewer's immersion.
Fox News reports:
Moviegoers who watch 3-D films do not experience more intense emotional reactions or a greater sense of "being there" than those who watch 2-D movies, a new study finds. The 3-D versions also don't help you remember the movie better than 2-D versions.
The 3-D movies did, on the other hand, come with a risk of discomfort. Compared with 2-D movie watchers, 3-D movie-watchers were about three times more likely to have eyestrain, headache or trouble with vision, the study showed.
Though California State University's L. Mark Carrier says that moviegoers may enjoy 3D films for other reasons (or for the sheer technological novelty in play), his findings argue that the gimmick is no better a story telling platform than traditional two-dimensional films. "All other things being equal, I would say you're increasing your chances of having some discomfort," Carrier said.
For the study, Carrier and his colleagues surveyed 400 students following a mix of 2D and 3D screenings of recent, popular films such as Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon. Participants were then asked to rate the films and describe their emotional reactions to the subject matter.
According to Carrier, those who viewed the films in three-dimensions showed no more cognition or attachment to the movies than those who viewed them in the traditional two-dimensional fashion, though there was a marked increase in headache activity among the former group.
As Fox points out, the 3D films also carry, on average, a $3 higher ticket price than their 2D counterparts.
Before any of you decry this news based purely on its connection to the Murdoch media empire, I will also point to the reams of anecdotal evidence saying this exact same thing since the recent revitalization of 3D. How many of you 3DS owners switch off the handheld's key selling point after a few minutes of use?
I've said it before and I'll say it again, short of vibrating movie seats and physically muzzling teenage girls, the movie-going experience has hit its peak.