Child’s play. Nintendo have always taken account of children of all ages. Children are a core consituent, always were and always will be. So, does the Nintendo 3DS have an Achilles Heel? It is set to be the ‘must have’ gadget of 2011, but does the news that broke before Christmas, from Nintendo themselves, that the 3DS is not suitable for 6 year olds and under seriously jeopardise the attraction of the device to parents.
According to the Wall Street Journal, who translated the copy on the Nintendo website Nintendo is warning that, “For children under the age of six, looking at 3-D images for a long time could possibly have a negative impact on the growth of their eyes.”
Losses in translation aside, this could be a pretty major flaw for the 3DS and potentially for the family friendly image of the games industry as a whole.
Picture the scene:-
‘Little Jimmy (7 years old) – ‘ Mummy, I really want a Nintendo 3DS, my friends have all got them and it is brilliant. Can I have one, can I, can I?’
Jimmy’s mum, ‘Sorry Jimmy, you will have to wait. I heard that the 3D is dangerous and not suitable for your little sister, Gaga, and your little brother Sam’.
Jimmy, ‘What do you mean dangerous?’
Jimmy’s mum ‘There is a warning that this is not suitable for young children’s eyes and may effect them. You wouldn’t want that would you?’
Jimmy, ‘ Noooooo. I really want one, but I guess if Jane and Gaga will get hurt, I will have to go back to my iPod Touch then’.
I for one really hope that this issue does not become a rod by which the games industry is beaten and thanks to Nintendo’s proactive and responsible statement, I don’t think it will be so. We really don’t want any wags coining headlines about ‘3DS can make your kids blind’ or indeed it being mentioned in the same sentences as ‘mastrurbation’. But I do wonder if this factor will actually inhibit the sales of the hardware and therefore software over the long term, that could be a major blow.
After all, Nintendo has always had children at its heart.