Nintendo 3DS: 3D Warning Should Not Be Taken Lightly
A concerned gamer wonders if he'll give Nintendo's new system to his future kids.
My fiancee and I officially tie the knot March 3, 2012, hopefully before the world ends. Providing we survive the apocalypse, we'll likely have children, which is something I look forward to. The whole concept of having a baby and then molding the boy or girl into a model citizen (and star point guard for the New York Knicks...or Liberty) fills me with excitement. That's what two seasons of Teen Mom will do to a person.
On that note, I want the kid to enjoy some of my finer pastimes, including video games. How I introduce the little boy or girl to the wonderful world of interactive entertainment, though, became trickier than expected.
First, and foremost, there will be no T or M-rated games allowed. Despite the fact that I enjoy blowing the heads off zombies, that's something a six year old doesn't need to do. I made the mistake of watching pro wrestling with my brother when he was younger, and he became a miniature Ultimate Warrior that wanted to dropkick other kids at the playground. All debates aside, I'll just safely assume that M-rated games will have a similar effect.
That said, a new concern appeared on my "protect the children" radar in the form of a warning slapped onto every 3DS game and the system itself: "Playable in 2D and 3D. 3D mode for ages 7+. See back." Turn over the case, and it gets worse: "Viewing of 3D images by children 6 and under may cause vision damage. Use the parental control feature to restrict the display of 3D images for children 6 and under."
Here's Nintendo, champion of all things kids informing parents that viewing the portable's 3D effects may in fact impair their children's ability to see.
This has no comparison to the years old epilepsy warning that still pops up in game booklets. That either begins with "a small percentage of the population" (AKA, not me) or "about 1 in 4000", which doesn't apply to me either. It's always been one of those things that affect somebody, but it's like eating a medium rare steak at a restaurant, despite the menu saying that "some folks may grow ill from consuming undercooked meat and shellfish". Bottom line, the odds are in your favor.
This 3D warning takes things to a whole other level. It's one thing to say that kids may get seizures from playing games. Yes, it could happen, but in the same way that driving through a park and getting bombarded by flashes of light from the sun hitting trees could trigger an episode. You can't finger video games as the sole culprit.
3DS, on the other hand, has me a bit concerned. I'm going to take my kids to see 3D movies, and the theater employee won't say anything about Avatar 2 melting their eyeballs. It's the second Nintendo system that needs a childproof label, right behind the failed Virtual Boy.
Obviously, the simple solution is to heed Nintendo's warning and use the parental controls, or refuse to give my children 3DS systems until they're seven, though to be on the safe side, I'll go with nine or ten.
Hey, can you blame me for being so protective? Aside from a nasty case of Wii Sports tennis elbow, I've never considered video games to be dangerous. Forget about M-rated content. I'm more concerned about my kids being able to see the games they want to play.
Is this a serious threat? Let me know what you think.