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"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," Nintendo posted on its site. According to the company, the 3DS "delivers 3D images with different left and right images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children’s eyes."

Tomorrow, the boys and I will be in line at the local Gamestop as they pick up their preordered Nintendo 3DS. It’s been the talk of the house for a while now. As part of the launch I’ve been keeping an eye on the warnings that have gone out:

– Six year olds and younger are being told not to use the 3D feature. The game comes with a parental control to block this play. I would suggest maybe just waiting until they are older so there is never an issue. With my own boys, we waited until they were able to read to get their first DS’s. That was age 7.

– Nintendo is recommending that a break be taken every 30 minutes. The DS had a recommendation of 2 hours. In one review they talked to a optometrist who suggested:

a 20/20/20 habit – lifting your eyes and focusing somewhere 20 feet away every twenty minutes for 20 seconds. However, you will not go blind or suffer long-term damage.

“Moderation is beneficial,” optometrist Dr. Justin Bazan said. “Some people will feel sick or nauseous and in some cases the 3D could point to an underlying binocular vision disorder.”

– Stop if you feel sick or dizzy.

Is there anything to fear?

Is the warning a plan to head off lawsuits? I hope not. It seems that Nintendo has historically been a long term thinking company that really wants to make consumers happy.

It’s always fun to see them dive into new games. This one really looks like a significant new direction in gaming that is light years from the Pong on my youth. But, as with anything new, it’s important that parents know about the dangers and make sure they keep an eye on their children’s play.

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