3-D horror movies

When I was young there was a brief fad for 3-D movies. You had to wear those red/green glasses they gave you in the movie theater but the effects were pretty spectacular. I remember seeing Vincent Price in House of Wax and it was pretty impressive to my 11 year old psyche. But 3D faded. Something about those goofy glasses, maybe. Now it's back and the glasses are still part of it but much fancier. They are now high tech active motion glasses and they not just for theater 3-D, either (as in Avatar). 3-D television is making its debut.

I've not seen the new 3-D movies or the TVs but Mrs. R. was mentioning to me the other day that someone she knew told her that her mother had to leave the movie theater because of sudden and profound motion sickness. She knew others with the same problem. I hadn't heard this so I went digging a bit and 'lo and behold, it seems to be true. And it's not just motion sickness. This, from a product page full of health warnings for a Samsung 3-D set (h/t MacWorld):

If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately stop watching 3D pictures and consult a medical specialist:

(1) altered vision; (2) lightheadedness; (3) dizziness; (4) involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; (5) confusion; (6) nausea; (7) loss of awareness; (8) convulsions; (9) cramps; and/or (10) disorientation. Parents should monitor and ask their children about the above symptoms as children and teenagers may be more likely to experience these symptoms than adults. [no mention of an erection lasting longer than 4 hours while watching porn in 3-D, but presumably that's also worth a call to your doctor]

Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the likelihood of these effects. If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume until the symptoms have subsided.

We do not recommend watching 3D if you are in bad physical condition, need sleep or have been drinking alcohol.

Watching TV while sitting too close to the screen for an extended period of time may damage your eyesight. The ideal viewing distance should be at least three times the height of the TV screen. It is recommended that the viewer's eyes are level with the screen.
Watching TV while wearing 3D Active Glasses for an extended period of time may cause headaches or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop watching TV and rest.


Viewing in 3D mode may cause disorientation for some viewers. DO NOT place your television near open stairwells, cables, balconies or other objects that may cause you to injure yourself. (Samsung Australia)

All I can say is "Yikes!" If I had any intention of investing in 3-D TV this would be kind of a disincentive.

This is even scarier than Vincent Price.

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Could this be an example of the over-sensitivity of all companies in the US to the possibility of a lawsuit? A version of "Warning! Do not stick the pointed end of this pencil in your eye. May cause damage."? I would like to know the size of the sample of suffers of each symptom. Maybe good advice would be, "If you feel any of these symptoms, take off the damn glasses and watch the show without them for a while." Anyroad, if 3-D effects were the only reason you went to the movie in the first place, you probably should have saved your dough.

"Could this be an example of the over-sensitivity of all companies in the US to the possibility of a lawsuit?"

Probably not, since the product page is from Australia, and most of the manufacturing is done in China.

Several of those warnings are due to the nature of active glasses.

Basically, they cover youre eyes, and flick aobut 30 to 75 times per second, blocking one eye, while unblocking the othere eye, and then do the oposite. This in order to show a diferent image to the left and right eyes.

The flicker can triger some epilepsy symptons on some people.

Originally the first active glasses flicker at 30 frames per second, and a lot of people find it intolerable.

Now somme of them can flick at 120 frames per secondo (this depends on the monitor, modern monitor refresh the screen faster).

At higher speed, the are less noticiable.

The other problem is that not all people has the same capacity of stereopsis... the capacity to fuse to images and extract deep information.

There is people that is not capable, but a lot of people can learn and improve.

REally.. is not that bad...

"...stop watching TV and rest"

THIS is the kind of data I've been waiting for. Apparently watching TV IS an active sport. And if I get a headache from it, I'll take a rest - say, get a beer from the fridge. Yeah, that should work.

Motion sickness and migraine are co-occurring disorders according to my reading on the topic as a physician and migraine sufferer. I can tell you from close personal experience that IMAX action films, animated and reality based, can lead to the same symptoms. This is fairly embarrassing if you have to leave a theater full of laughing little kids to rolf in the bathroom.

It will be interesting to see how migraine patients do with this. I personally will not even risk going to one of these 3 D things. If Speed Racer can make one rolf, 3 D action films must be the mother of them all.

By Dr Denise (not verified) on 20 Apr 2010 #permalink

Salutations to all,

Yesterday I had a discussion with a renown Master of Martial Art, and along our discussion I ask me a question that is annoying me since my late experience with 3D movie.

Master, I asked,

Is the 3D experience can alter our katha reflexes?

He smiled and said;

3D Perceptions will altered most enshrined reflexes, hesitation, the famous dangerous zone, is colonising our Inner Drive. The Democratisation of 3D Perceptions lead us to the Second Ring of Bows.

We will have to bow to our instinctive Selbs, we will succeed but many will be carry away because of their hesitations.

Is there anyone in Martial arts that please corroborate this statement that seems obvious to me and bend on the side of Mass Control ??


Snowy Owl