Is 3D Gaming Bad For Young Kids’ Health? Nintendo President Wants to Find Out

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Nintendo has recently expressed concerns about 3D technology and its effect on children under the age of 6 after experts consulted by the company suggested that 3D could cause young children to suffer from stunted eye development. So how does this warning fare for the future of the 3DS and Nintendo’s own plans for the next dimension of gaming?

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s President and a life-long industry player, says he doesn’t think the health warning will necessarily affect the appeal of the 3DS but he wants to make sure he lets his customers know about the risks.

“We are being proactive about informing our customer, even though it may not necessarily be positive for our sales,” said Iwata. He sees the health warning as a positive move towards developing a set of rules for international guidance for the display of 3D images, but also says he’s interested in parents utilizing parental controls on gaming consoles more.

Iwata believes children are getting an over-use of the technology with parents allowing young children to consume technology, especially video games, without limits and without consulting health warnings. “Parents sometimes use video games almost as a babysitter for their kids,” he says.

While he wants to lead the industry into the future of gaming, he stands by the warning that children under 6 should play games using the optional 2D mode on the 3DS, which can be operated by a switch on the console. He also advises parents to make use of the parental control settings on the 3DS as well as with all other Nintendo consoles to regulate and control the use of these technologies by young children.

Barclays Capital analyst Haruka Mori expects that the initial appeal of the 3DS will be to the more established gamer and those that are willing to spend money on actively seeking new games in an industry which is now being directed by free and cheap games for smart phones. The young gamers who Nintendo recruited with family orientated gaming through the Wii and earlier DS consoles will apparently be less likely to move onto the 3DS than the more established gamer, according to Mori, which means that Iwata’s fears may not yet be realized.

[via Wall Street Journal]

More on TIME.com:

What We’re Looking Forward to in 2011: Video Games

Nintendo DS is the US Best Selling Console of All Time

The Mythology of Mario: Q&A With Nintendo’s Legendary Shigeru Miyamoto

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