Original Post

My nephew is 8 years old, and he’s visiting here. He saw the Virtual Boy and asked if he could play the “virtual Reality” game. I had to tell him he couldn’t since he’s not old enough. Mom asked why and I told them that it could mess up his eyesight or something. I know the manual says it’s for ages 10 and up, but I am just wondering at what age should I let him start playing it, or if your eyesight is still developing when you’re 10 years old.

6 Replies

That’s a great question. I let my 4 year old daughter look into mine just for about 30 seconds max as she was interested to see what I was looking into, and my 7 year old has played it a handful of times for about 5 minutes max. Unless your nephew has any known issues with his eyes, I would think it would be okay for him to try it out some.

Since you ignited my curiosity, I searched and came across this site..


Here is a paste of question #3…

3: At what age can my child view 3D safely?
Vision, including binocular vision, develops from birth. No detrimental effects of viewing 3D have been reported at any age. Parents should note that from 6-12 months of age, basic binocularity is established. By the age of 3 years most children will have binocular vision well enough established to enjoy viewing 3D television, movies or games.


I thought the age limit Nintendo made for the 3DS was 7 years and older, which should be the same as the Virtual Boy (etc.)

It’s just to do with the development of eyes, no child under 7 should use any 3D based system extensively, as it could lead to less than stellar eyesight.

Beware, this website has been made by a consortium interrested in 3D, like Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Sony, Paramount, IMAX, Dolby, Panasonic, MasterImage and others “to advance the creative arts and sciences of stereoscopic 3D”. So maybe it’s not 100% accurate…

I remember reading somewhere that 5 years old is a safe age to begin viewing stereoscopic 3D, and I figured Nintendo upped it to 7 just to help avoid lawsuits.

The manual states 7 year olds are fine to play the system, but like Ben said whatever study said 5 i’m guessing would be ok.

I’ve always seen these warnings more on the level of “don’t read at dim light or you wil ruin your vision” – dubios at best and more likely completely unfounded. There seems to be no solid evidence that 3D is harmful for eye development:


I guess that these company recommendations are purely artificial to prevent any chance of lawsuits against them. However, kids should anyway not spend the entire day sitting in front of a virtual boy (or other consoles) for various other reasons! 😉


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