Violent Games Improve Eyesight

'Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information' - claims boffin.

Posted by Staff
Unreal Tournament - good for the peepers
Unreal Tournament - good for the peepers
The researchers at the University of Rochester just keep on proving the nay-sayers and anti-games campaigners wrong ? this time they have found FPSs (among other fast, action-based games) can improve your eyesight.

According to Daphne Bavelier professor of brain and cognitive sciences at UoR, "Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information. After just 30 hours, players showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision, meaning they could see figures like those on an eye chart more clearly, even when other symbols crowded in."

The experiment to prove this entailed two groups of students, one of which played Unreal Tournament for an hour a day, while the second knuckled down to puzzle classic, Tetris for the same period. The trial lasted for a month, after which the Tetris group had not improved on a vision test, while the Unreal Tournament were more successful than before.

"These (action) games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life,? added Bavelier.

The UoR team is planning to extend its research with the gadget to end all gadgets - a brand-new 360-degree virtual-reality computer lab at the University of Rochester.

Source:The Journal Psychological Science


ajmetz 6 Feb 2007 21:40
Dude, I lost my eyesight at a time I was doing magic eye, and reading digitiser teletext on an old dodgy TV, but also at a time I was on the PC for long durations.

FPS may increase spatial awareness, or make you sharp eyed, but so does fell running....I used to look out for all those little stones under my feet, and always looking two steps ahead, as your course down a hill in the Lake I couldn't even focus on stones, man. Too much screen time.

Proof Reading / Subbing, is probably just as good. ^_^.

My point? The actual games may improve your eyesight, but the screens you're playing the games on, are still far less than ideal...I'd be interested in an experiment into whether LCD and TFT screens are better for you than CRTs? Or what other new screen technologies might be developed to be eye friendly in future.
crs117 7 Feb 2007 00:40
I actually wouldnt be surprised if crt's helped you see better then lcd or other panel types. Reason being is the full refresh for each screen where as other displays use residual pixels without a full refresh. This makes it more painful too the eye, but dont underestimate what a full screen refresh will do.

Needless to say lcd's are doing a hell of a lot better with actual response times, but i still enjoy a good game on a crt display.
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