Study: Action Video Games Good for Your Peepers

Action-packed video games can improve your eyesight, according to a recent study at the University of Rochester funded in part by the US Navy's Office of Naval Research.

Researchers set one test group playing first-person shooters Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the other The Sims 2. After 50 hours over 9 weeks, FPS players were found to have a 43% improvement in their contrast sensitivity--the ability to spot slight differences in shades of grey--while Sims 2 players saw none.

"If you are driving at dusk with light fog it could make the difference between seeing the car in front of you or not seeing it," explained study leader Daphne Bevelier. After six months of gaming, a 58% improvement was seen over non-gamers.

Improving contrast sensitivity--a crucial factor in how well we see--was thought to take glasses or surgery. Previous research by Bevelier into video games' ocular benefits discovered they can improve our ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 30, 2009 6:28 AM

    I'm surprised some company, or someone, actually funded this study.

    • reply
      March 30, 2009 6:37 AM

      The study was funded in part by the Office of Naval Research, who obviously be interested in improving the vision of their mens with something as cheap and as simple as video games. And... this should probably be in the story.

      • reply
        March 30, 2009 7:32 AM

        The military is using so many drones/robots now that they are finding that kids trained on Halo, Call of Duty, etc. make really good drone pilots. On a feature on NPC I heard about a 19 year old high school dropout who basically failed at everything. He joined the army and became not only a drone pilot, but such a good pilot that he's now one of their chief drone instructors.

        The navy wants to know if the games make you sharper and which ones do it best I'm sure. The day when a few rounds of team slayer are a part of basic training aren't too far off.

        • reply
          March 30, 2009 7:33 AM

          NPR, not NPC. Stupid work lingo.

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