Proof: video games are good for the eyes

In a study published by Nature Neuroscience, it was revealed that playing video games can improve a person's sensitivity to visual contrasts. The authors of the study write, "The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) is routinely assessed in clinical evaluation of vision and is the primary limiting factor in how well one sees. CSF improvements are typically brought about by correction of the optics of the eye with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. We found that the very act of action video game playing also enhanced contrast sensitivity, providing a complementary route to eyesight improvement."

According to the LA Times, "Contrast sensitivity function refers to the ability to detect small differences in shades of gray, and it is one of the most vulnerable elements of vision. Scientists believe it is affected by deterioration of the eye itself."

The subjects of the study were people in their 20s who were new to playing video games. The games used in the study were Unreal Tournament 2004, Call of Duty 2, and The Sims 2. Participants were encouraged to play their assigned games for a total of fifty hours over a nine-week period.

Although all participants saw benefits, the improvements in participants' CSF were particularly noteworthy for those who played the action games--averaging about 58%. The effects were shown to last for months and, in some cases, for years.

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14 Comments

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for once i agree with the so-called experts.

this is especially true when playing adult games. nothing beats (heh) a good hand-eyes coordination exercise ...


sorry. couldn't resist ...

LCD monitors being easier on the eyes is a myth. It all depends on how good of a CRT you had. If you had a CRT that could render the resolution you used at 85hz or better, then it's exactly like using an LCD screen. If you had a monitor that could only produce 60hz, then yes, it was extremely rough on the eyes.

I played video games for 5 years for 8-12 hours a day, and my eyes are still perfectly fine. I don't feel any differently when I play games all day as opposed to not playing them at all.

Playing video games could improve your detection of contrast; however I doubt it's "good for the eyes". Statistical data has shown that long periods of watching CRTs hurt the eyes. LCDs reduce the strain, but that doesn't mean damage still isn't being done...

The point - which is true? We don't know. All we know is that statistical data can be skewed to prove whatever the person / organization wants... just another example.

This is true.. Yesterday when I woke up, I looked out my window at the sky and saw nothing but blue. I then played COD4 for a while and then I looked out my window again and could see stars billions of miles away.

jordanthegreat said,
This is true.. Yesterday when I woke up, I looked out my window at the sky and saw nothing but blue. I then played COD4 for a while and then I looked out my window again and could see stars billions of miles away.

I lol'd. :)

Looks like 14 years of gaming (since the age of 4) its doing its job nicely. :P Never had a single problem with my eyes. :)

Duke Nukem -> Delta Force -> Half Life-> Unreal Tournament -> Counter Strike -> Call Of Duty -> Counter Strike Source -> Team Fortress 2.

(speaking about MP gaming, except with Duke Nukem, and not counting the hundreds other FPS games that I've played, just those on which I spent the most time (not really hundreds, but around hundred seems a realistic number :P))

KavazovAngel said,
Looks like 14 years of gaming (since the age of 4) its doing its job nicely. :P Never had a single problem with my eyes. :)

Duke Nukem -> Delta Force -> Half Life-> Unreal Tournament -> Counter Strike -> Call Of Duty -> Counter Strike Source -> Team Fortress 2.

(speaking about MP gaming, except with Duke Nukem, and not counting the hundreds other FPS games that I've played, just those on which I spent the most time (not really hundreds, but around hundred seems a realistic number :P))

30 years of gaming here..I can see through walls and now I know why!

Hah! I'll go tell my parents I need to play more Killzone 2 so that I don't need glasses!

Honestly though, does CSF improvement make you not need glasses? Cuz it doesn't sound like CSF is related to blurriness.

No, blurriness is related to the eye's ability to focus on objects. This sounds interesting though. I'm going to tell my parents, haha.