Action Games May Improve Vision, Says Study

Nathan Grayson

And you thought the majority of today’s first-person shooters were only easy on the eyes. As it turns out, playing a fast-moving, state-of-the-art action game might be less like a warm glass of milk for your poor peepers, and more like a monolithic can of Monster.

According to a study conducted by Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York, a few rounds of games like Call of Duty or Unreal Tournament may be enough to improve your eyes’ contrast sensitivity . Translated into the hip vernacular you kids have grown so accustomed to: Capping fools, punks, or whatever these are could save you from dying in a fire .

“People who used a video-game training program saw significant improvements in their ability to notice subtle differences in shades of gray, a finding that may help people who have trouble with night driving,” noted the study.

While undoubtedly cool, the study’s results were far from expected. Apparently, contrast sensitivity doesn’t typically undergo significant change without an alteration to the optics of the eye -- glasses or surgery, for example.

The games played by each group, for those interested, were Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 for the “action” group, and The Sims 2 for the non-action group. The first group saw a 43 percent improvement in contrast sensitivity, while the second saw none – possibly due to blindness or some other malady that our cruel universe has chosen to afflict upon those who are not truly hardcore.

Don’t sit too close to the screen, huh? Oh how the tides have turned.

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