Yet Another Study Says First Person Shooters Are Good For Your Eyesight

from the tell-your-mother dept

Over in the Insider Chat, Leigh recently taught us that it’s a myth that carrots improve your eyesight… but if your mother tries to pass that off on you as a reason to eat carrots, perhaps you should tell her you’re better off getting in a bit more time playing the latest first person shooter, instead (not that you shouldn’t eat carrots, they’re delicious, but they won’t help your eyesight). However, it seems that researchers keep showing that first person shooters really are good for your eyesight. The latest, as sent over by Rob Hyndman is about a study done up in Canada showing eyesight improvement for people playing Medal of Honor.


Participants were all born with cataracts that were removed — but because of their condition, their vision never developed to 20/20. Six of the seven were not gamers.

They played the game for 10 hours straight in a controlled environment, and then two hours a day only until they reached 40 hours of play.

“We brought them back four weeks later and they all had improved vision,” Lewis said.

10 hours straight seems excessive…

That said, this is hardly new. We first noted a study like this nearly a decade ago. Then again five years ago. And, for good measure, three years ago. Whether or not the improved eyesight cancels out the urge to kill (rising) that such video games also provide is left to future research to determine (and because people are humor impaired: that’s a joke).

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Comments on “Yet Another Study Says First Person Shooters Are Good For Your Eyesight”

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40 Comments
Anonymoussays:

“Leigh recently taught us”

Marcus doesn’t teach us much, except that he is silly. He may have basically reposted someone else’s work, but he certainly didn’t teach us anything.

First person shooters also have issues that people often forget to blink, causing dry eyes and headaches. We won’t even talk about motion sickness.

Chargonesays:

on the subject of carrots:
the thing about them improving your eye-sight is overly successful allied propaganda in ww2 (to cover the use of radar, i believe?) about why their pilots were so good at finding German bombers.

that said, apparently there Are nutrients in carrots that your body needs to Maintain your eyesight. (this is from memory, mind you) so they are Good for your eyes (and eye-sight) they just don’t particularly make it Better.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Was about to post this but ninja’d. Yeah, it stems from the Brits (when we were still cool) wanting to cover up the use of their advanced radar systems (called AI, Airborne Interception Radar). They attributed the increased bomber kill-count to eating lots of carrots because they help you see better.

And yep on the nutrients thing, apparently Vitamin A is good for eyesight, which carrots contain. Not a good plan to overdose on carrot to try and improve vision though, you’d need to eat so many of the things you’d turn orange.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Yep it was RAF (Royal Air Force) in the UK who put out this misinformation, not really propaganda, about the special diet that allowed their pilots to hit their targets in the dark.

Hence why carrots are good for your night vision as well.

Carrots are healthy for you and contain vitamin A, β-carotene from carrots is converted to vitamin A in your body, required to maintain your eyesight but vitamin A occurs in a load of different things already so you don’t necessarily need to eat carrots for your vitamin A quota.

The Old Man in The Seasays:

Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

If you are 3D deprived, the real thing isn’t going to help you. At 3 metres, I couldn’t hit a rubbish tin lid up against a tree firing off a .22, in 2D simulations I can hit the distant objects.

Without my glasses having corrective prisms to enable some 3D vision, I live in a world of 2D (no depth to anything). I still have to focus on an object at different distances. It is so much easier to hit something in simulation because computer screens are inherently 2D.

As an aside, the last study I saw on the effects of FPS was not an increase in violence in the individuals but a decrease in sympathy and empathy in those individuals for others.

The major problem with any kind of study into the effects of FPS’s is that most if not all such studies have particular agendas to push and as such the studies don’t look at the overall effects on the individuals, their interactions with others and the societal effects resulting.

For those of us who are old enough, our childhood games would include such things as playing cowboys and indians, soldiers, explorers and adventurers where we would be hunting and fighting off wild beasts and enemies. What has been the societal outcome of these experiences?

All I can say is that overall, our various societies have become more nanny state and more vicious as the years have passed.

So whether or not eyesight can be improved by such means as FPS’s will, I think, never truly been known.

regards to all

Machin Shinsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

I’m not really sure what to think of all this. One thing I can tell is that you have no business near a fire arm. You also seem to have a poor understanding of dimensions.

You see when you aim a gun you use your dominate eye to look down the sites, there is some debate over closing your other eye but most do. So your looking down the sites or through the scope with your dominate eye.

Now in order for you to have depth you need both eyes. You mind generates this depth by overlaying the images from both eyes. So really depth perception has pretty much no bearing on your ability to shoot. Knowing the range of the target is important, but not depth perception.

Sounds like your trouble is just that you can’t see without your glasses….

Old Man in The Seasays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

When I got my first set of glasses with the corrective prism to allow me to see 3D. I perceived depth for at least a couple of 100 metres. It was one of the most incredible sights I have experienced in terms of depth perception. The corrective prisms I have only correct for about 30% to 40% of what you as a normal sighted person would see.

regards and enjoy your day.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

Probably both you and Colin Davidson are right.

Even if the depth perception available beyond 6 feet does not affect scorable testing very much, it still conveys 3D information and makes the 3D experience richer. Also I think the cutoff (for scorable testing) must be more than 6 feet, but not 50 feet.

In addition, there is another important phenomenon: with two eyes, you have better acuity than with either alone — provided the eyes are pointed the same directon and the brain can integrate the two fields effectively. This improvement is independent of 3D vision.

I experience it when I close one eye while reading a flat page or a distant sign. In order to make it work, I have to make sure both eyes are focussed and maybe blink to get rid of eyelashes. The same effect occurs when, at the end of a glasses precription test, both eyes are allowed to look through the new lenses together.

Maybe both of these effects are contributing to your experience, plus individual processing effects that we don’t know about. I am glad to read of it.

Old Man in The Seasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

Thank you for the laugh. It is always fun when discussing this with someone who lives in a fully 3D perception of the world.

I was taught as a youngster to have both eyes open when using a rifle.

Secondly, if you don’t have the problem you don’t understand the difficulties of seeing in 2D as a normal part of life. Much as you might dispute it, it does have an effect on your ability to aim correctly. Much of this is related to the kinesthetic feedback between body and vision in the brain.

Again thanks for the laugh and enjoy your day.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

I appreciated your first person report. My son has amblyopia, strabismus (both under control) and no depth perception. These are complex phenomena, having as much to do with processing as with muscles or acuity. It is not easy to understand even for the experts; we had to travel to Johns Hopkins to gain a few more planks of understanding. It is not surprising that someone with a newspaper knowledge of 3D vision — correct as far as it goes — could be so off-target; the tone of the comment is harder to explain. “Shooting in the dark”, so to speak.

Greevarsays:

Violent games

“Whether or not the improved eyesight cancels out the urge to kill”

I know you’re poking fun at the misinformation against games, but first person shooters don’t have to be violent. You can still utilize the same mechanics in such a game that doesn’t “kill” anything. Take Portal for example. Or, how about Paintbrawl? Or how about we point out the most violent children’s game played in the physical world? “Tag!” anyone?

It’s a game that encourages children to chase down other children and gruesomely violate their personal space by “tagging” them in order to make them “it” for the next round of unmitigated chaos. They are not only being violent, but encouraging other children to take up the mantle of violence that this game fosters. We should be screaming at our legislature to ban this game before it encourages more and more violent behavior!

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