Study: Action games improve eyesight

University of Rochester research finds noticeable difference in visual acuity after fragging foes in Unreal Tournament.

142 Comments

The benefits-versus-harms-of-gaming debate continued this week with a plus for those in support of the positive effects of spending time with a controller. Researchers at The University of Rochester published a paper in Psychological Science this week regarding a study on the effects of gaming and eyesight.

The study found a noticeable difference between the visual acuity of subjects after a session of action-oriented gaming, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Those who played the first-person shooter Unreal Tournament (the paper did not say which version of Unreal Tournament was played) experienced greater improvements to visual acuity and peripheral vision than subjects who had played Tetris.

Professor Daphne Bavelier, who ran the study, said the research gives hope to those who feared the part of the brain that manages visual acuity could not improve after adulthood. She also said that gaming, because of participation by subjects, likely has a greater affect on eyesight than passive media, such as movies or television shows.

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joeypui

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Read this (Hopefully this answers most of your questions: << LINK REMOVED >> Or just click on "Rochester Democrat and Chronicle".

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ShadowCruiser2K

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Sadly, playing most video games does not increase intelligence. The article does not say, "Playing video games improves vision." The article says, "PLAYING GAMES IMPROVES VISUAL ACUITY." What they are saying is that you become more alert to things around you, not that you'll see better. If playing video games improved vision, more than half of America wouldn't need glasses. I noticed at least some of you understood this, and to you, props. As Argune pointed out, too much use of a TV or monitor can cause damage to your eyes. Certainly not to the extent that ebgamesnake112 attested to, though. Playing a GBC alone isn't going to make you blind. That's ridiculous.

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RonHack

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I wonder how many points one's vision improves. I automatically assume that the version of UT is 2004; 2007 isn't out yet, and the other versions are harder to obtain.

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SpeedMan72

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thats cool

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Theempire30

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lol they just don't know how to spend money on research anymore...

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king0512

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If this was true then why am I still using my glasses?!?!

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MxO

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This makes sense. Plagiarizing RPG's got me an English degree.

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Jah_Glow

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LOL. Sue not the innocent victims... they couldn't have possibly known it would make you blind. Score one for games... again.

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ebgamesnake112

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Speaking of Pokemon; before i got my Game boy color my eyesight was perfect. But after i starting clocking in some time with Pokemon (blue) my eyesight got progressively worse. And now I'm almost legally blind. I should sue for this, people sue game companies for far less things.

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krypto74

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I have lousy eyesight and after I stopped playing counterstrike and started playing pokemon, I have noticed I got a little worse. I guess its time to break out the FPS and get back to exercising my eyes.

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gertish

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My eyesight has never improved after a session of UT2K4. I still have eyesight worse than my parents. Probably due to video games.

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From90ne

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This is old news, similar research was carried out years ago...

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Gamespotvic

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Huh... I thought that staring at the monitor for hours would damage your eyes. Guess I was wrong.

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icepickiii

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I agree with the eyesight being more acute. I usually pick up stuff happening around me very quickly. Subtle things, or stuff that happens quickly. The fast stuff, its like everything slows down. I agree with my reflexes being quicker, more precise.

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nu-animal

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Hmmm... reminds of the research last year (I think) where sugeons who had been playing video games, carried out precedures a lot quicker and with fewer mistakes than surgeons who hadn't.

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nevereathim

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THIS IS SO AWESOME, but It could easily be a lie

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InfectX

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hmm It always seemed like my vision was a little better after playing games. Interestingly, its also always worse after a long day of school.

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mercenar3

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its funny i wear glasses but i swear my vision is slightly better after playing a fast placed action game for extended amouns of time. Nothing to permanent or noticeable but still interesting. My reflexes are mad amazing though from playing games as are most peoples here i will assume.

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drgnstr13

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Video games also made my reflexes ultra sharp, I get comments almost too many times about how fast I am. o_o

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yugimasa9999

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visions of truth !!

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miss_kitt3n

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Vitamin A>>>>>>>>>>> Action games

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Morehouse007

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It makes perfect sense! What are you doing in FPS's? Running around trying to spot enemies, some of which are very far away (sniping).

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jtnhl11

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yeah my reaction time has earned me a new nickname--- flinch for my flinching abillity

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shrink45

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Good to hear. My eyes are shot dead as I have Nestagnis ( if that's how you spell it) which is an uncontrolled movement of the eyes. Because of gaming, my eyes do not move as fast so I can see things straight. I rarely notice it from time to time, but it gets annoying when people ask me "Why do your eyes move like that?????" Just somethin' I gotta live with I guess...

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Kholdstare_fire

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My eyes focus on things differently now, instead of looking around I jot with my eyes. Just like in CS :(

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undox

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Now I got a way to get people to shut up about my gaming.

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Lebowits

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been gaming for years and i dont wear glass's and infact have nearly 20/20 vision. I do notice my reaction time is great and i could say playing Counter Strike is to blame.

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kenerhai

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yea, im wishing i could give up my glasses as well for lasik. gaming my help my "acuity and peripheral vision", but too bad my sights allready shot.

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Jebril

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They make you react faster and such but your eyes definetly do not improve, they are strained and decay at long hours on video games. MOST gamers are going to wear glasses because of this.

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Devouring_One

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I don't really get that. Playing video games made me wear glasses. I feel like I get more blind playing more video games. What's up with that?

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wonkisjones

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you see!! playing is goooooooooooood!!

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Sandro909

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If only it meant that I didnt have to wear my glasses anymore... >_>

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sieg6529

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okay, so if it weren't for video games, I would be completely blind.

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cjcr_alexandru

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I agree that action games improve your eyesight, but they don't improve your eyes...

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dmastor

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It's hard for me to believe that i want to know who really sponser this reseach must of been EA

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Sheiko

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Hooah time to go waste time playing this so i can see without my glasses. lol interesting study unfortunately not properly implemented.

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aufshnitt

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yeah i have 19+ years of video games, and it hasnt helped my eyes one bit.. maybe they should study on this a bit harder. unless my eyes are REALLY bad and in that case has saved me from going blind all together.. i guess i'll never know... :(

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sjrp80

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what i really want to know if RPG are good for you, cuzz i play rpg a lot

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areyoumad

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Actually gaming caused my eyesight to detoriate.I now have glasses that also +vision which increases as you age even if you wear glasses.I regret playing games,i wish i had a social life:parties,discos,babes.Maybe next life:( this is waht happens when you play games for 14+yrs.

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Dante565

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Yea I wish playing video games cured cancer.

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GameWiz47

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wow, now i have an excuse to play m-rated fpss :D

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nevereathim

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SWEET, too bad it doesn't improve my health or save me from a heart attack

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onlineps2player

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interesting...

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niels200683

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You know what this means? Tetris is damaging our youth! Get the government on the line, as parents we demand a full ban on all tetris related games!

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Dreski83

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"She also said that gaming, because of participation by subjects, likely has a greater affect on eyesight than passive media, such as movies or television shows." Well... no kidding... If I sit idle long enough putting my brain thru intense training on a certain task with minimal physical get down action... imagine what I'll be like once I get up... good or bad..? I can't say for sure.

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can0of0cheese

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well small exposure might give better reflexes, and enhance the eyefield. One glass wine a day improves health so why not?

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Squids-Ahoy

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Unreal Tournament is a pc game. You lose, good day sir!

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Sombody5000

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Uhh, Ok. How is having an improvement in peripheral vision going to help when you're going blind by staring at the TV for 5 hours straight.

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anarchicgoth

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well duh- i could have told you that!

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PSLinux

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so that means stepmania increases my eye to finger coordination, obviously.

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