3D movies decrease cinema accessibility

Many people will have been to see The Hobbit over the holiday season. The 3D “phenomenon” is interesting as it seems to be a case of new technology being even less accessible than usual. By that I mean that it is excluding an even larger number of people than is usual with new technology developments. Depending on which expert you listen to, between two and 12 per cent of all viewers are unable to appreciate video shown in 3D.

As well as the usual vision-related reasons for having difficulty viewing regular movies, 3D has the added requirement that you have binocular vision, that is, you can see out of both eyes at the same time and have good depth perception. If you are able to see the 3D effect but it causes you discomfort, you may have a mild binocular disorder. It is probably worth having your eyes checked out. People who may not usually consider themselves vision impaired will find themselves disabled by 3D technology.

I don’t know how many are captioned either.

Whether or not you choose to view movies in 3D or not depends on whether you have binocular vision, or simply whether or not you want to pay the premium price to see it. The day we went to see it at The Embassy, the cinema director Peter Jackson helped restore to its 1930’s glory, we saw it in boring old 2D, and the cinema was full.

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Filed under Disability Issues, Disability Rights, Inclusion, Media, The Arts

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