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Nintendo Portables (Games) The Media Games

The Nintendo 3DS, Headaches, and Bad Journalism 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the adjust-the-sensationalism-slider dept.
brumgrunt writes "A British paper is claiming that the Nintendo 3DS poses some kind of health risk. The claim sounds interesting, until you see how that conclusion was reached. 'On the 6th of April, the paper conducted a scientific experiment in which a 22-year-old member of the staff had his blood pressure and pulse taken after playing the 3DS in different situations – at rest, while walking, or while taking a ride in a car. The Sun came to the startling conclusion that the man’s pulse and blood pressure were higher while walking than while sitting down, yet concluded, apropos of nothing, “Children should not be left to play on it for hours.” The article neglects to point out that a raised blood pressure and pulse is perfectly normal, and you’re as likely to experience such a physical response while walking and reading a book as you are when playing the 3DS.'" Pocket Gamer posted a humorous follow-up, using the Sun's own methods against it.
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The Nintendo 3DS, Headaches, and Bad Journalism

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  • Omg..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:35AM (#35758332)

    Please stop calling The Sun a newspaper or it's contents journalism.
    It's stories (when not just crap about celebs) are written so that the brit sheeples can feel 'informed'.
    They believe anything written in there because its the best selling rag and it leaves them a few more brain cells free to update twittle or facebook pages.

    • Re:Omg..... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:43AM (#35758500)

      Please stop calling The Sun a newspaper or it's contents journalism.
      It's stories (when not just crap about celebs) are written so that the brit sheeples can feel 'informed'.
      They believe anything written in there because its the best selling rag and it leaves them a few more brain cells free to update twittle or facebook pages.

      To be fare, the summary called it "A British paper" and also referred to it as "the paper". I didn't notice any mention of "newspaper".

      Now this line is a little more troubling to me, "On the 6th of April, the paper conducted a scientific experiment"

      • Late April Fools joke? Otherwise... http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2159#comic [smbc-comics.com]
      • by Edam (911039)
        I think by "paper", they probably meant newspaper. Unless they were just referring to a sheet of British A4 they found somewhere.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        The Sun is the Beano for grown-ups. Celebrities are the equivalent of Dennis the Menace and co.

        What worries me is that it isn't just The Sun or the British who go in for this kind of bullshit. A few years back they printed that obviously made-up story about Japanese women buying sheep sheared to look like poodles (which was the start of the ruin of the British reputation in Japan, only partly restored by our assistance with the recent tsunami), and despite its obvious lack of factual basis several other new

    • by Anonymous Coward
      When shit like this actually makes it to the front page, I feel like there should be a voting option where it can be taken down if 98% of readers feel like it is complete crap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DrXym (126579)
      People who say "sheep" / "sheeple" instantly lose whatever point they were trying to make. Think of it like a wooly Godwin's law.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Not really, however, people who make ad hominem attacks like you do in fact lose instantly.

        Additionally, "sheeple" is a perfectly cromulent malamanteau.

        • by N1AK (864906)

          Not really, however, people who make ad hominem attacks like you do in fact lose instantly.

          I like how you invoked your own law to instantly dismantle your own point.

          His point, although not a truth, was a valid observation that referring to other people as sheep or sheeple will cause many people to downgrade their opinion of you, thus diminishing ability to make your case.

          • by causality (777677)

            Not really, however, people who make ad hominem attacks like you do in fact lose instantly.

            I like how you invoked your own law to instantly dismantle your own point.

            His point, although not a truth, was a valid observation that referring to other people as sheep or sheeple will cause many people to downgrade their opinion of you, thus diminishing ability to make your case.

            Sounds like an efficient filter to me. The people who cannot separate the point being made from their personal tastes, preferences, and feelings about how the point is made weren't likely to contribute anything deep and meaningful anyway. They're too busy getting offended and worrying about things they can't control. The people who deal with the same distaste by providing an example of what they believe to be the better way, those are the ones I'd like to hear from.

            Like it or not (and I really, really do

            • by mrrudge (1120279)
              The problem is that 'sheeple' is a meme, it's a good example of what it describes, quick judgement without evidence or thought.

              There's too much to read already. Someone who uses the term sheeple is likely to be going to waste the next two paragraphs and minutes of my life in an ill considered attempt to distinguish themselves by repeating a basic observation in the name of ego.

              Most people are less intelligent than someone with above average intelligence.

              Well done.
              • by causality (777677)

                The problem is that 'sheeple' is a meme, it's a good example of what it describes, quick judgement without evidence or thought.

                By that definition the word "meme" is a meme.

                There's no judgment involved in acknowledging that people fitting the definition of this word exist and that their actions have consequences. Now if I pointed to a particular individual and called him a "sheeple" that would be making a judgment. Then it would be valid to question whether I have evidence that this individual fails to th

                • by mrrudge (1120279)
                  I dislike it, especially when used by intelligent people, as it attempts to construct a hierarchy, ranking multi-faceted people by one characteristic. That characteristic being one the author finds or thinks themselves gifted.

                  It's like the archetypical 'jock' figure ranking everyone by how much they can bench press, and finding everyone else lacking. They're right, it's true, it's just really not that useful or interesting as nearly anyone can do it if they pick the right scale.

                  Grouping and naming peo
                  • by causality (777677)

                    I dislike it, especially when used by intelligent people, as it attempts to construct a hierarchy, ranking multi-faceted people by one characteristic. That characteristic being one the author finds or thinks themselves gifted.

                    I think that's the crux of the matter and I believe it can be resolved.

                    The key is when I said that I personally think such people could choose to think for themselves. I just believe that for various reasons that boil down to forms of conditioning, they don't. The fact that they cou

          • by hedwards (940851)

            Not really, however, people who make ad hominem attacks like you do in fact lose instantly.

            I like how you invoked your own law to instantly dismantle your own point.

            Um, no, just no.

            From the wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

            An ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy, but it is not always fallacious; in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue

            In other words, because he made an ad hominem argument, I was perfectly fine calling attention to the fact that those that do so, him being one example, do instantly lose their argument because it is insufficient a nail to hang an argument on.

            • In other words, because he made an ad hominem argument, I was perfectly fine calling attention to the fact that those that do so, him being one example, do instantly lose their argument because it is insufficient a nail to hang an argument on.

              Ad hominem is insufficient, yes, but it could be accompanied by another argument that is sufficient. Similarly, use of the word "sheeple" is insufficient. In fact, use of the word sheeple is, itself, ad hominem. I'll leave you to connect the dots.

      • by jitterman (987991)
        What was that? I stopped reading when I hit the fourth word. :)
      • Agree. Sheeple does not mean anything meaningful in any conversation which does not involve apple.

      • by Spatial (1235392)

        Oh, do they? You better concede your own point as well, since apparently it's become recursive.

        After all, you've turned an observation of rhetorical sleaze into yet another instrument of rhetorical sleaze. Well done.

      • by tgibbs (83782)

        People who say "sheep" / "sheeple" instantly lose whatever point they were trying to make. Think of it like a wooly Godwin's law.

        I don't know if they lose the point, but it is certainly true that no message that I have ever seen that referred to people as "sheep/sheeple" has ever had anything remotely intelligent (or even vaguely interesting) to say. It's so reliable that these days I don't bother to read anything more beyond that.

        • by tepples (727027)
          Then what word should one use to mean "people who elect whomever the movie studios tell them to elect through their co-owned TV news channels"?
          • by tgibbs (83782)

            You could say just that, but that would only make it less obvious, if less offensive. However, overall, I've found that people who believe that people with different tastes are simply choosing "whomever the movie studios tell them to elect through their co-owned TV news channels" almost never have anything remotely perceptive or interesting to say. I suspect this is because people who make comments of this sort (particularly when they employ a contemptuous term that equates other human beings with farm anim

            • by tepples (727027)

              I've found that people who believe that people with different tastes are simply choosing "whomever the movie studios tell them to elect through their co-owned TV news channels" almost never have anything remotely perceptive or interesting to say.

              So you appear to dispute the effectiveness of MPAA-owned news outlets framing the issues [pineight.com]. Is there a better way to explain why A. nobody proposing real change makes it past the primaries, and B. Ron Paul wasn't allowed to get a word in edgewise in the 2008 presidential debates, and C. both relevant U.S. political parties agree on expansion of the scope of copyright?

              ObTopic: One of the articles comes from a source accused of pandering to people vulnerable to framing [wikipedia.org]. The comparison between people vulnerab

      • by sjames (1099)

        That's shear lunacy!

    • Please stop calling The Sun a newspaper or it's contents journalism.

      Why? The Sun represents journalism and the media industry in its purest form.

    • All we need now is for the Sun to do an article on the bad journalism of Slashdot and we don't have to wait for 2012 for the world to be sucked into a black hole created the LHC.

      Journalism, its dead has not been exaggerated.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Let's see: Who's got more at stake here, the newspaper or Nintendo?

      I'm going to need to see more than a summary on Slashdot or a story on "denofgeek.com" before I know who to believe.

      I have a 3DS that I couldn't play more than 10 minutes or so before getting a headache. My kid, who's 22 has no problem with it and I figure she's old enough to not have to worry about the 3DS stunting the development of her eyes.

      I swapped her the 3DS for her PSP and it's good all around now. I'm an old, old man, so for all

    • Yeah, The Sun is equivalent to The National Inquirer. Are we going to see "bat boy" stories on /. now?
    • by DaveGod (703167)

      It's stories (when not just crap about celebs) are written so that the brit sheeples can feel 'informed'.

      Just from "reading" The Sun, this is a conclusion easily drawn.

      From conversations with Sun readers however, every single one of them has been fully aware of the standards of "journalism", reading it not to feel informed but rather entertained.

      It's easy to condemn ignorance and apathy, but one should not feel superior for having full knowledge whilst still doing nothing.

      (Bizarrely, a minority of Daily Mail readers did show signs of having some faith in it however. The Mail does have some pretences at being a

  • It's the Sun (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:37AM (#35758380)

    Nothing to see here, it's just The Sun, another celebrity and scandal obsessed tabloid paper, full of yellow journalism at its worst.

    • by slim (1652)

      "Just another" tabloid -- except that it's hugely influential as the biggest selling British newspaper, having almost 50% greater circulation than its nearest competitor, The Mail, and more than 4 times the circulation of the bestselling "proper" paper, the Telegraph.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circulation [wikipedia.org]

      So, as crappy as it is, it's an opinion-former in the UK, which is why the parties Murdoch likes tend to do well in elections...

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      What I don't get it... how come somebody needs 2 hours to "read" it?
  • by TheRealQuestor (1750940) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:37AM (#35758382)
    this just in. climbing stairs will raise your heartbeat and bloodpressure. Also just in. Breathing uses up calories.
  • This study requires a double blind where half the participants are given a 3DS with Street Fighter 4 and the other half a dummy store demo with no battery charge to account for the placebo effect.
    • by Ksevio (865461)
      I get the feeling the control group will notice that their units don't work when the experimenters ask them to play while walking.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:39AM (#35758438)

    a 22-year-old member of the staff

    I recently did a similar study, using my girlfriend as my sample, to prove that 100% of humans have a vagina.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:40AM (#35758462)

    Look, of course you are "likely to experience such a physical response while walking and reading a book" - because if you think about it, both ALSO involve looking at 3-D objects, just as with the 3DS!!

    So in fact if you are concerned about your child's health, you should in fact make sure that instead of interacting with 3D objects they are safely positioned in front of a flat 2D screen. 3D glasses should be hidden (even the Red-Blue kind) and just to be safe, you should make sire that at least four hours of the day are spent playing 2D platformers.

    If you have any reluctance in following this plan, remember - it's for the children.

  • by ledow (319597) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:44AM (#35758524) Homepage

    "On the 6th of April, the paper conducted a scientific experiment"

    No it didn't. There was nothing scientific and any idiot knows that because it has The Sun written across the top in big letters.

    And Nintendo have already complained in the press how much crap all these articles are.

    • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:54AM (#35758700)

      There was nothing scientific and any idiot knows that because it has The Sun written across the top in big letters.

      If it had been done by the Weekly World News instead of The Sun, the test subject would have been Bat Boy and the conclusion would have been that the 3DS helps Satan in escaping hell to take over South America or somesuch. And it would have been an hilarious read.

      • by click2005 (921437) *

        I've not played it yet. Next time please use Spoiler tags when you're going to ruin the ending.

  • Let's all jump on the "popular topics" bandwagon.
  • ...it's nice to know that it isn't just the american media that can't find someone of reasonable intelligence to write their articles.
  • That entire piece is crap...anything which raises adrenaline will increase heartbeat and blood pressure. Gaming is an activity that some people really get into so of course its going to have that effect. Show me a gamer playing a fps or racing game that doesn't get higher blood pressure and pulse and I'll show you a gamer who's doing it wrong.

    That said, sadly this is the first generation I have completely skipped a handheld release with no real intention of getting one at all. While I think the 3d thing is interesting and fairly innovative, I've been spoiled by iOS and Android and just cant see paying $40 for a game again. The counter to that is generally an uneducated response that android and ios games lack the depth of the Sony and Nintendo offerings but they are there if you look for them even in the RPG genre that Nintendo is famous for. I really do think Nintendo is going to be a world of hurt when it comes to handhelds, the price model myth has been disproven, look at World of Goo and Plants vs Zombies and its easy to see high quality games can sell and be very lucrative even at a lower price. Never underestimate the power of discreet gaming, you can carry around a phone or handheld as an adult and get in a few minutes of gaming here and there without so much as a glance, but employers tend to frown on adults bringing their DS or PSP to work with them.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Not really, I use my GBA to relax, basically I focus on playing the game without elevating my pulse, blood pressure or getting stressed. When I'm really playing well, there is not impact whatsoever on any of those things.

    • If you call Plants vs. Zombies "High Quality," there's no arguing with you. It's fun, but it's a game that would take about a day to program, and then art asset creation takes however long you feel like. It's made by Pop Cap. They thrive on cheap impulse buy games that cost nearly nothing to produce. Plants vs. Zombies is completely undeep, and is basically glorified rock-paper-scissors. World of Goo is a better example, but still is an entire game built around applying the same mechanic in slightly differe

      • by grapeape (137008)

        Sorry should have clarified...my statement about depth was more in regards to things like Zenonia (1 and 2), Sacred Odyssey, Aralon, Neuroshima Hex, etc. But as for casual gaming i would put things like Espgaluda II, Pix ‘n Love Rush, Touch Grind, Contract Killer, Castle Warriors, Real Racing or Samurai 2 against most anything on the the other handhelds. Then there are games that started on other platforms but made a great transition...GTA Chinatown Wars, Street Fighter IV, Dead Space, Chaos Rings,

    • Indeed, sports tends to increase your blood pressure quite a bit. Sports is dangerous for your kids! :-)

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Your chances of dieing if you play high school football are noticeably higher than your chances of dieing from not getting the chickenpox vaccine. Of course, that might be more of a commentary on the the vaccine than football, so, nevermind.
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Saying "The counter to that is generally an uneducated response" before saying something that is obviously and completely wrong doesn't make you right. There is no reason that in depth games cannot be made for phones, but by and large, the games on dedicated hand helds are far more in depth. There is no reason grander games could not be made for the phones. The market just isn't there at this time though. I blame the controls. The touch screen is fine for certain games, but for most it just sucks. Ma
      • by grapeape (137008)

        My point was that there are games with depth if you look for them, most handheld gamers simply point to angry birds and claim everything on the iphone and ipad is a casual game without even bothering to see whats actually available (thats what I mean by uneducated). IMHO the proper controls argument is a bit like the people who dismissed the Wii with the same argument...in the end it didn't matter mainly because there are far more casual gamers than hardcore ones to cater to. That said, I've found that if

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          They are few and far between because the touch screen is really quite limited. You may want to believe that the problem is lack of familiearty, but the actual problem is that the screens have no tactile feedback, so it is too easy to remove your fingers from the 'buttons' if you are playing a button style game, and you fingers are covering the screen for other types of games. This works fine for checkers, chess and most physics games but for any kind of arcade game it stinks.

          Bluetooth based controllers
    • That said, sadly this is the first generation I have completely skipped a handheld release with no real intention of getting one at all.

      If you're saying these iOS and Android devices have high-quality, high-selling games, then I don't see how you can say they aren't handheld gaming devices, at least by your usage.

      The counter to that is generally an uneducated response that android and ios games lack the depth of the Sony and Nintendo offerings but they are there if you look for them even in the RPG genre that Nintendo is famous for.

      Well, I have an unused iPod Touch that I could use some recommendations for. Since you specifically mention RPGs, is there anything similar to Golden Sun or Dissidia that I'd be interested in? I'm not a platform "fanboy" by any means; if it's a good game, I'll play it.

      Also, I wouldn't be surprised with people saying mobile games la

      • by grapeape (137008)

        Sure how about zenonia 1 and 2, Rimelands, Across Age DX, Hybrid Eternal Whisper and Hybrid 2 are great for JRPG style RPG's. Ravensword or Aralon are great for western rpg style. For hack and slash diablo'ish games there are things like Solomon's Keep, Dungeon Hunter and Sacred Odyssey. And then of course there are the Square games like FF and Chaos Rings.

        My examples of PvZ and WoG were simply about quality and polish...

  • by Fibe-Piper (1879824) on Friday April 08, 2011 @11:52AM (#35758656) Journal

    See my post's title.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ [thesun.co.uk]

    Newspaper! Riiiiiiight

  • Reading the Sun also raises the heartrate and blood pressure of anyone with half a brain.
  • it's in The Sun. I remember when it used to funny but since it transformed itself into the world's leading scientific journal, Mystic Meg went off to work at the LHC and Zoe McConnell went from in front of the lens to behind the lens - its just never been quite the same.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Nintendo 3DS is well protected against piracy. The 3D effect doesn't work if you wear an eyepatch.
  • This is The Sun of:

    UFO Hits Wind Turbine [transitionculture.org]

    Haunted Hospital Calls in Exorcist [thesun.co.uk]

    and famously of course from the 1980s:

    Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster [wordpress.com] Puh-lease!
    • by EasyTarget (43516)

      The scary thing is that the last one is real!

      • by andrewa (18630)

        Let's not forget the sh*t they wrote about Liverpool FC fans....
        I have the sun website blocked on my router in case I inadvertently click on some link....

  • Did The Onion buy out The Sun on april 1st?

  • IRC the problem for any 3D screen-based system is the fact that
    your eyes need to both

    1) focus on the screen while simultaneously

    2) converging (right and left eyes pointing) to a locus behind (or of the screen).

    This is an unnatural thing to do - a bit like crossing your eyes without noticing.
    If you do it for a long time it has a lasting aftereffect where you can't see real world distances properly for some hours afterwards.

    If your eyes are still learning to make sense of the world (like children's) they can

  • I had the opportunity to try one out a couple of weeks ago at a local Game Stop. After about 30 seconds I had to put it down; it made my eyes hurt and kicked off a headache. I will not let my daughter have one.
    • I've played it for two or three hours at a stretch (ignoring Nintendo's "our lawyers made us say this" warning to take a break every half hour). I can sort of tell that my eyes are doing something different, probably because of the convergence/focus disparity; it feels a bit like looking at one of those "Magic Eye" pictures, but it certainly doesn't hurt or give me a headache. In any case, there is a control, and you can adjust the 3D effect to whatever level is comfortable, or even none at all (I generally

  • A person's pulse rate and blood pressure increase when active. Man, I can wait to see what these guys decide to study next. Maybe they'll answer that big open question that's been bugging humanity for centuries -- just what temperature DOES water boil at?
  • For the record, I was reading /. on a bumpy country road, and I was the driver. I hit my head on the steering wheel, the roof, and the side window. I personally blame /. for the addiction to read it while driving and for the excessive use of bright white backgounds. I'll be contacting my lawyer just as soon as I post this through my mobile and merge onto the freeway.
  • The health concerns might all be bunk, but the stability concerns aren't. The 3DS is notoriously unstable, with widespread reports of frequent crashing. I have personally had my 3DS crash four times while playing a game.

  • I'd have thought The Sun would be all in favour of 3D. It would improve page 3...

  • Not only are there no health risks, but the 3DS cameras enhance erectile function!

  • ...a red-top tabloid which publishes crap like this every day. It's readership are one step up from an amoeba. There's not much more to expect than this.
  • Doesn't the 3DS basically have a "depth" slider which, at the lowest setting, entirely turns off the 3D effect and can also give increased battery life/refresh rate? Everybody concerned could just turn it off.

  • ...or pictures of Samantha Fox in her prime.

    Same results. BAN PAGE 3! You could have a heart attack.

    Idiocy in its purest form.

  • Hmph..maybe this will make them release Skyward Sword faster...
  • What? i do not see how it can increase your blood pressure at all lol it is just a game at the end of the day and that is all you have to remember :D.You can always chill out from gaming at http://www.ro2.biz/register.php?ref=skybluesam1 [ro2.biz]

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