This article suggests that 3D electronics in the home aren't safe for children under 7, and may not be healthy for adults either. I'm willing to be cautious. Still, I'd like to know if there is any other solid evidence one way or the other. How much should be considered safe? What if a child might be exposed to the technology at a friend's house?
asked 27 Jun '10, 02:12
Just to be clear, you're talking about "stereoscopic 3D", not ordinary 3D animation that is projected in 2D by a regular projector.
I don't think there is yet a definitive correct answer to whether it's safe, but there is mounting evidence that it's not good for your eyes. In addition to the article you cited, here are a few more: Reference 1 Reference 2 Reference 3
I seriously doubt that seeing a stereo 3D movie occasionally or playing a 3D video game at a friend's house is going to do permanent harm. But personally, I would not want my son to regularly/always see films in 3D and definitely would not encourage it as a daily activity (for example, by having a stereo TV or game console at home).
It's pretty straightforward to see why it would be a problem: in a 3D movie, the screen (the distance your eyes need to focus and converge on) is at a set distance, but you're feeding information to each eye separately that is filled with cues that the objects are at all sorts of other distances from you (and often to "enhance" the 3D look, they use wildly implausible distances, sizes, and eye separations, and switch them from scene to scene). This definitely causes eye strain and headaches in many people while viewing the stereo media. The jury is still out on whether there is any more permanent effect to be worried about.
I work on animated and visual effects films for a living (generally released in 3D), so you'd think I have every reason to promote this technology. But in fact I avoid going to 3D films (I just don't find that it enhances the experience, certainly not enough for higher ticket prices) and I don't take my son to them.
For additional arguments against 3D for reasons other than safety, you may also want to read Roger Ebert's "Why I Hate 3D And You Should Too".
On the other hand, some people love watching stereo 3D films. YMMV.
answered 27 Jun '10, 13:06