Can 3-D video games cause vertigo? A recent online survey of the Optometrist Association estimates that 25 percent of Americans have experienced vertigo symptoms such as; nausea, headaches and blurred vision after viewing 3-D.
In the digital revolution that we currently live in, technology is becoming more and more advanced. One of the many new phenomenon’s in gaming and cinematography is three dimensional display, aka 3-D.
Theater owners and TV makers are spending billions of dollars to upgrade theaters and TVs for 3-D. A number of cable and satellite channels are already using 3-D programming and many are announcing the upcoming arrival of 3-D to their channels.
Nintendo recently came out with the Nintendo 3DS , a hand held gaming device that uses 3-D as a means of display. The 3DS is said to make the gaming experience more intense and believable for gamers. However – with all new products comes a barrage of feedback including; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So how does all this cause vertigo and other symptoms? Recent feedback of the 3Ds from gamers at a convention in Tokyo could prove to be mostly ugly for this new technology. Many of the players announced that they became dizzy within ten minutes of playing the game, others stated that they experienced dizziness and fatigue and further implied that the 3D effects in 3DS will accelerate eye fatigue in a short period of time. Nintendo’s disclaimer also states that children under the age of six shouldn’t use the 3Ds because it may affect the development of their vision.
Others involved in the 3-D industry have posted warnings regarding their product. In April of 2010, Samsung posted a disclaimer on their website pertaining to their 3D TV technology, stating that;
“Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the likelihood of these effects. If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume until the symptoms have subsided…Watching TV while wearing 3D Active Glasses for an extended period of time may cause headaches or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop watching TV and rest.”
The entertainment and electronic industries believe 3-D is the future of entertainment and seem to be forging onward despite the known drawbacks. All research on how 3-D affects viewers is still in the early stages, so it’s hard to tell what the major long term affects may be. However, early studies have shown that 3-D causes more eye-strain than 2-D.
“The technology taps into our depth perception… it forces the eyes to make constant adjustments to focus on images that are simultaneously near and far away” states Dr. Lawrence Tychsen, ophthalmologist in chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The Korean government has even gone as far at to ask it’s viewers to take a 15 minute break between every hour of 3-D watched.
So, next time you and the fam are on your way to see that new 3D flick, keep in mind the possibilities and proceed with caution. Especially to prevent an attack if you already have a tendency to experience vertigo like symptoms such as dizziness and blurred vision.
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