Nintendo has announced that their 3DS is dangerous for children under 6 years old. Well, no kidding.
I have written about the hazards of TV and watching things on a screen for children at Lew Rockwell here and here. Here's more by another writer on an overview why video games are bad in general.
At the time of the writing of the above articles, hand-held gaming was not the big scourge it is today. But it is a simple line of logic to realize that, if wasting time sitting around watching a TV screen is bad for children, then sitting around and watching a game screen is just as bad.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Nintendo's 3DS video game system might be hazardous to the health of children younger than 6, according to a warning posted Wednesday on the Japanese video game company's website. The 3DS is the gaming giant's latest version of its DS line of handheld video game consoles. The feature of the 3DS that separates it from Nintendo's popular other DS systems: It can handle 3-D gaming and movies, displaying the depth-adding effect without requiring users to wear 3-D glasses. Although Nintendo is advising that only the preschool crowd refrain from using the new system's 3-D feature, it also recommends in its note that all players -- children and adults -- should take breaks from its glasses-free 3-D gaming every 30 minutes, or whenever a user feels sick.
"...might be hazardous?" Get real. Have a little common sense. Of course they are bad for children (children's brains, minds, and vision - not to mention social skills) Just watch any kid who spends 30 minutes a day or more playing these things and see how his school grades drop and his ability to interact with other children decline.
A few months ago I went with my son to a 6-year-old classmates birthday party. There several parents were talking and trading notes. One of the parents was complaining about the school bus.
He said something like his child would come home from school crying because the other kids on the school bus all had their own DS game and, since he didn't have one, the other kids wouldn't play with him. (I didn't bother to ask that father how it is that kids are supposed to play together when they are all dwelling deep inside of their single player DS game.) The father, not realizing that his child was manipulating him so that he could get a DS like the other kids, relented (because he loved his child and wanted him to have "friends") and bought his kid a DS.
Well, the story continued and, several months later, the father recalled, he had his son's birthday party at home. Well, lo and behold, the son's "friends" came over and, instead of playing, the father recalls that they all sat of the sofa, not speaking a word to each other and playing DS games.... Frustrated, the father finally ordered them to put down the DS games and "play" (you know that you had a bunch of groaning kids there!).
Gee, do you think the same thing is not going on on the school bus?
Anyway, kid's today need all the advantages in life they can get. Only a truly foolish parent would buy a DS game for their child... Would you buy your child their own TV set for their room to watch whenever they want? I wouldn't. Some people do.... Those are the kids who have trouble in school. Don't ask me, ask your child's teacher or school administrator...
Or ask someone like me who worked in TV and radio for 3 decades and know, from the inside, how bad TV is for kid's....
One can look at American society as a whole today and see how too much TV has made the average American dumb as nails, but that's a story for another day.
Oh, and don't think that you can control your child's use of the device... They will find a way around your controls.... Whether it is at your house or sneaking off to another house....
You cannot control what goes on at other people's homes, but do your child a favor do not buy these devices or even allow them in your house.
Am I against DS games? Absolutely not. If my son wants one, then he when he gets a job of his own and wants to buy one, then more power to him. But, I suspect that, since he won't have played them as a child, then he won't be interested in it later... I mean, when you have girls, sports, outdoors, books, traveling, good food, etc., etc., why play hand held games?
Trust my friends, that, since we never had a TV in our house, my son is not even interested in it... He is not interested in games either (I have taken him to the game center for his birthday and other occasions before - he likes that. Like I said, kid's these days need all the help they can get.
Handheld games and TV are a hinderance. Don't be a lazy parent and buy this junk as a defacto babysitter for your child. They deserve better.