The Average Gamer

Improve your eyesight – Play video games

I’ve always had faith that playing video games is actually beneficial to your health. Take for instance flying a plane. Now I’ve played quite a lot of flight sims in the past, with Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series of games being my favourite (ahem…moving on).

So when it came to really learning to fly I was quite good at it already, if I do say so myself. Even my instructor agreed, but then again he would as he wanted me to buy more lessons. Anyway, all those countless hours of crashing simulated flying had actually paid off when it came to flying a real plane. See, useful skill learnt from gaming.

Now this study from the University of Rochester has shown that:

…people who played action video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters presented in clutter—a visual acuity test similar to ones used in regular ophthalmology clinics.

It goes on to say:

Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information,” says Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “After just 30 hours, players showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision, meaning they could see figures like those on an eye chart more clearly, even when other symbols crowded in.

My favourite bit is:

After about a month of near-daily gaming, the Tetris players showed no improvement on the test, but the Unreal Tournament players could tell which way the “T” was pointing much more easily than they had just a month earlier.

See, Tetris is rubbish. Go kill some aliens in Unreal Tournament and improve your eyesight. Brilliant!