3D Movies Cause More Discomfort, Yet Are Not More Enjoyable Than 2D

Richard Carlton

Researchers at California State University have recently carried out a study, the results of which have led them to conclude that watching 3D movies is not as great as it is cracked up to be. It has previously been suggested that watching 3-dimensional movies can really enhance one’s enjoyment, delivering a real sense of being in the thick of the action, as well as a stronger emotional link with the content.

3D movie content
3D movies more likely to bring discomfort rather than enjoyment

However, the research indicated that viewers who watched 3D films were not more likely to remember them for any longer than those watching the 2D versions. The study also found that extra-dimensional movies did not spark stronger reactions or emotions amongst viewers compared to their “flat” counterparts, nor did they provide a greater sense of actually ‘being there’ in the midst of the action.

What the study did find, however, was that 3D movie-goers were more likely to suffer discomfort and problems than those who watched the 2D versions. It was found that people viewing 3D content were three times more likely to suffer headaches than those who watched 2D content. They were also thrice as likely as watchers of 2D content to have eye strain and blurred vision according to the study.

L. Mark Carrier, the researcher who conducted and then subsequently presented the study at the America Psychological Association’s annual meeting this week, said that many consumers may still continue to watch 3D movies for novelty reasons. However, he said that they should be aware that 3D will not make the content any more meaningful or easier to understand, but can cause a range of discomfort. The research involved getting four hundred students to watch one of a selection of films in either 2D or 3D, and then asking them to rate various aspects of their viewing experiences.