New Study Says 3D Movies Not Better Than 2D; Also Cause Eye Strain, Headaches, and Potential Vision Issues

New Study Says 3D Movies Not Better Than 2D; Also Cause Eye Strain, Headaches, and Potential Vision Issues

Aug 12, 2011

'50s audience watching a 3D movieDo 3D movies make your eyes hurt and give you headaches? You’re not alone – and a new study from Cal State University says those are the only things viewers get for the extra money they spend at the box office when buying a ticket to a 3D feature.

L Mark Carrier organized a study involving 400 filmgoers to determine what effect viewing a film in 3D had over its more traditional 2D counterparts, and the results are surprising – if you actually thought 3D enhanced the film viewing experience, at least. The results of Carrier’s research showed that viewers who watched a movie in 3D did not have a more immersive experience, didn’t feel more intense emotional reactions, and were not better able to recall details after the film ended. What they did have was a three times greater risk of eye strain, headache, and vision problems. And to think, Hollywood actually let’s you pay extra for this!

Carrier, speaking at American Psychological Association’s annual gathering, told attendees “All other things being equal, I would say you're increasing your chances of having some discomfort. There aren't going to be any benefits in terms of understanding the movie better or making the movie more meaningful, as far as we can tell.”

The study was conducted with participants given three choices of films to watch -- Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans, and How to Train Your Dragon – in either 2D or 3D. They were then given a list of 60 words to express their reactions to the experience – everything from “enjoyment” to “rage,” and surprisingly enough, there was very little difference between the two groups in terms of reaction.

The study is just the latest bit of evidence in the argument that the 3D film fad is starting to wear out its welcome. With the box office boost a 3D title gets from the increased ticket price declining, some see news about the potential physical risks of viewing films in the medium as more bad news. While titles like Transformers: Dark of the Moon have done well in the format, other films have struggled as cash-strapped theater goers have opted for the cheaper 2D versions of the season’s hottest releases. Studies like these look to put a further dent in the bottom line – or at the very least, open the door for more research on 3D’s potentially negative impact on the viewer.

Do 3D movies give you headaches or make your eyes feel strained? Does this info make you less likely to see 3D films? Share your opinions below.

[via Guardian UK]

Categories: News
Tags: 3D movies
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