New concern on games and the growing mind

. February 7, 2013.

In a world where entertainment technology advances by leaps and bounds, and where so much of that technology is marketed to children, it’s easy for parents to get disoriented and anxious. Fears of health risks to vulnerable kids come and go, but new 3D-based games have caused a new wave of concern. Industry heavyweight Nintendo has added fuel to the fire, cautioning parents on its Japanese-language website that its highly anticipated upcoming 3DS system may not be safe for children under six. The company cites the possibility of harm to young children’s developing eyesight.
Before parents panic too much, it should be noted that this almost certainly a case of a corporation being admirably cautious, rather than a serious threat. The concern is that, since 3D movies and games work by essentially fooling the parts of the brain we use to perceive depth, there could possibly be a harmful effect on children who are still in the process of developing those parts of their brains. But as of now, there is now concrete research to back up those claims.
Still, anything that makes parents think hard about their children’s entertainment options is not entirely misguided. You don’t have to be worried about literal damage to your child’s brain to think that it might be best to moderate their exposure to movies and games. Never forget—the great outdoors is always in 3D.