The Nintendo 3DSyndrome

24 Mar 2011

Considering the incertitude posed by the commercialization of the Nintendo 3Ds game console and the general or specific health risks for certain sections of the population at risk to 3D technology, the nongovernmental organization Robin des Bois called for ANSES – the National Agency for the Sanitation of Food, Work, and the Environment – to launch an inquiry at the end of January. This request was deemed acceptable, and a copy of it was transmitted to the ministers of tutelage of ANSES.

ANSES will deliver in a few months a warning on the health effects of 3D technology applied to screens in daily use: televisions, cell phones, and game consoles. This warning will also be carried by the technology recently employed by Nintendo.

Today’s known risks are headaches, nausea, moments of blurry vision after the “immersion”, disruption of the development of the visual system in children, and the particular vulnerability to populations subject to epilepsy and squinting.

The recommendations associated to the commercialization of the 3DS lack readability and clarity. They are not operational. To ask a child to “stop playing immediately if he or she feels bad or sick” is an illusory call. The evaluation of ill-being, uneasiness, trouble in visual cases and limits to avoid crossing is a notion that is personal, subjective, and very uncertain for children.

Nintendo France has not responded to solicitations from Robin des Bois wishing to receive scientific documents that brought about the French representation of the Japanese manufacturer to recommend restriction of use only for “children aged 6 or less”.

In the United States, Nintendo has found an ally in a group of eye specialists. They consider the usage of the 3DS as a good method of detecting visual deficiencies. If one listens to the commentaries of guinea pig journalists, all users could be visually weak, so long as time is taken to adapt the controllers and the screen to the 3DS.

And then, the consultation from Nintendo costs in France 249.99 euros and is not reimbursed by Social Security.




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