A few years ago, I tried to jump into Second Life. It was all the rage at the time, and librarians were flocking to the site. Some organizations were even holding meetings in Second Life, and a few colleges were holding the occasional class via the site.
My main problem with the whole thing was that it made me sick. Literally. I am very susceptible to motion sickness, and after spending 30 minutes flying around in Second Life, I was nauseated and headachy for two hours. Not worth it.
Second Life seems to be fading in popularity, although recent reports have it grossing $100 million a year. Usage statistics seem to have leveled out, suggesting that anyone who was interested in Second Life is already there.
The next fad that isn’t possible for my motion-sensitive self is the 3-D thing. I have trouble with swoopy moves in movies, so I can’t imagine that having things come at me would be easier. Or less sickening. And I already wear glasses, thanks, so I don’t need to wear another pair.
So we have 3-D movies and televisions, and now there is a 3-D computer. Not sure why you’d want a 3-D computer, but the kick is this: there are all sorts of fairly major health warnings in the fine print. The fine folks at Mashable have read the fine print, and have reported on a few doozies. (Mashable is a great blog, by the way. I highly recommend reading it.) One mentions the possible risks to those who have epilepsy. However, you apparently are in danger of having a seizure regardless:
“Due to the possible impact on vision development, viewers of 3D video images should be age 6 or above. Children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised to avoid prolonged viewing without rest. Some viewers may experience a seizure or blackout when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain 3D television pictures or video games. Anyone who has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition, or has a family history of epilepsy, should contact a health care provider before using the 3D function.”
Seriously??? And if that isn’t bad enough, the warnings go on to say that,
“If you or any viewer experiences the following symptoms or any other discomfort from viewing 3D video images, stop viewing and contact your health care provider: Convulsions, Eye or muscle twitching, Loss of awareness, Altered vision, Involuntary movements, Disorientation, Eye Strain, Nausea/Vomiting, Dizziness, Headaches, Fatigue.”
Uhmmm….no, thanks. Even without by particular sensitivity, you can count me out.
Repeat after me: Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Step away from the shiny thing.