Remember when our parents would always say we'd burn our eyes out if we played too many video games? Well, while it certainly remains true that sitting too close to a video screen for extended periods of time can and often is harmful, it appears there is a benefit. Well, if you like to play shooters, that is.

According to a recent article by The Australian , laying the smackdown on a group of baddies can actually improve your vision. Evidently, some of the more hectic action titles like FPSs "provide excellent training for what eye doctors call contrast sensitivity." If you're not aware, the latter is "the ability to notice tiny changes in shades of gray against a uniform background," and yeah, this is something we all use on a daily basis. Age has a detrimental effect on it – typical – but in this study published in Nature Neuroscience, the researchers have stumbled upon "a previous unsuspected adaptability in the brain," and it could be utilized to people's advantage. Said Daphne Bavelier, professor at the University of Rochester in New York and the lead researcher for this project:

"This is not a skill that people were supposed to get better at by training. It was something that we corrected for at the level of the optics of the eye – to get better contrast detection you get glasses or laser surgery. What we found is that even without this correction you can help your brain make better use of whatever information is received from your retina."

Follow the link above to learn the specifics of the study, but the conclusion is that those who were exposed to action games performed 50% better in "detecting contrast" than those who weren't. They even addressed the possibility that the participants in this study may have been gamers to begin with, and hence, they had better contrast sensitivity to start. In the end, the results indicate "long-lasting gains" and that the effects may be limitless; in other words, you can't have too much of a good thing. In response to this very question – can you indeed have too much of a good thing? – Bavelier finished with this:

"For your visual system, probably not. For your social life, perhaps."

Man…as true as that is, they just can't find a way to avoid taking a jab at the gamers, huh?

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Morals
Morals
11 years ago

Just one more reason to be playing killzone 2 instead of typing this comment.

The_R0gue_Ninja
The_R0gue_Ninja
11 years ago

Here here, my good fellow!

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Social life is over rated anyways. Those neuroscientists wouldn't know though, they're just a bunch of party animals.

N a S a H
N a S a H
11 years ago

Gaming is just like anything else IMO. Has to be used in moderation and accordance to everything else. Too much is bad but too little can lead to extreme boredom. lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

*pokes his eyeballs under the lid*

My vision is terrible so this is good news. Of course, maybe its a bad idea to keep my contacts in an entire week…

Ever wanna make half the women you meet attractive? Go without your contacts or glasses.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/29/2009 10:43:00 PM

SPS3
SPS3
11 years ago

Leave 'em in too long & ulcers will develop on your eyes! PAINFUL!!!

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
11 years ago

LOL tried that; it didn't work.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
11 years ago

I don't put much belief into this. I just had my annual physical for my job a few months ago and I failed the vision part on the first try. A week later I passed it, barely and after eating carrots all week lol, so I can avoid glasses for now lol. And I used to play a lot of shooters. And still do from time to time.

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
11 years ago

jab well taken

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

awww look at the little Helghast!

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
11 years ago

who's a cute little fascist? you are, my little helghast!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Bush?

FLYING_APE
FLYING_APE
11 years ago

Obama is the fascist. You hate BUSH you gonna hate Obama even more

JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

Oh wow, you're for real.

Damn.

Gregory Freeman
Gregory Freeman
11 years ago

i was gonna say hitler… lol

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

NO political flame wars in here.

ps92117
ps92117
11 years ago

Lol there ain't much diffrence but I'll follow, hmm my eyesite has not being improving scince I bacame addicted to vgs but maybe it is just a coincidence.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Sorry, i brought it up, my mistake, thought it was funny for a moment I'll be careful now.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/30/2009 2:02:46 AM

OriginalSin
OriginalSin
11 years ago

I always thought that in a certain way gaming was good for your perception of depth, your reaction time, contrast and hand to eye coordination.

I mean playing WipeOut for instance (Even on the PS1) was quite a thing and you really had to react quick see what is coming ahead and plan your next action and all in a split second as we know how fast paced that could get.

Even playing shooters had to help in a certain way. Aiming, moving, running and all those actions you perform at the same time.

I mean I have this little cousin that could catch a ball for sh*t. Then his parents bought him a gaming console cause obviously he wasn't gonna be a top jock, but surprisingly he actually got better at sport as well. Still no Tiger Woods but he can at least hit the damn thing.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it will "save" everyone like him, but it surely helped him see and react faster. So if he finds a nice balance between gaming and actually practice on the field I'm sure he can become really good at it.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

FPS'S are like rap, they give you brain damage.

I still get angry about the incorrect perspective in all of them, the perspective (Players view) isnt from the characters head, but from his chest. Mirrors Edge was pretty close to getting it right, you look down and you see her belt line and down, im not being perverted here lol but you real should be able to see her torso, i cant stand it in FPS,where you look down and cant even see the body, its so cheap. This is why i cant respect them.

ps92117
ps92117
11 years ago

You must really not like sev, or kz2 for that much.


Last edited by ps92117 on 3/30/2009 3:16:37 AM

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

The Darkness got it right so far

dveisalive
dveisalive
11 years ago

When I play FPS like COD 4 WAW, I always pay attention to my surroundings as well. Just like when you drive your suppose to keep your eyes on the road, but advanced drivers can see everything around them

Fenrir
Fenrir
11 years ago

yeah, gaming is a good training for eyes and reaction indeed, but never forget about that the rest of your body need training, too. What does it help to have a raven eyes, if you´re too fat to move your head properly? 😉

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

HA take that anti-video activists

Xplicit
Xplicit
11 years ago

All the more reason not to get a Wii 😀

atomaweapon
atomaweapon
11 years ago

It seems every game site on the internet has posted this study.

Bugzbunny109
Bugzbunny109
11 years ago

Shooters enhance peripheral vision and responsiveness. I learned that through experience. After playing COD4 for a period of time I noticed my peripheral vision becoming more effective and pungent. Sometimes, when watching people play on COD, in the same perspective as the player, I see the enemy but they dont. My peripheral vision improved mainly because I increased the sensitivity. Whichever sensitivity you have adjusted on the game; your eyes adapt to them, this carries on to real life.

NonProphet
NonProphet
11 years ago

I just got glasses and now when I see a cute girl on the street, she's even cuter, which is cool…but now when I see someone who hasn't aged well or who isn't even slightly attractive, its a little disturbing, especially in the morning for some reason.