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Vision Needs of Gamers

Posted by Ilena Di Toro | Posted on November 9, 2021

If you are of a certain age, you will remember playing video games like Pong, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man.

Well, video games have come a long way since those days. Now there are Internet based, multi-player games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Madden NFL. Gamers are a part of a global audience of 281 million viewers in 2016 and they make up 66 percent of the U.S. population. Gamers aren’t just the casual players. They range in age from 24 and 27, they invest in the best gaming and computer systems, they practice several hours a day and compete in tournaments, either individually or on teams and, yes, there are cash prizes.

Despite the warning from countless parents, playing video games can be good for vision. A study done at the University of Rochester showed that the vision of gamers improved by 20 percent. Subjects consisted of university students who rarely played video games. They had their vision tested using the standard vision test used in eye clinics and then they were separated into two groups. One group played a shooting action video game. Another group played a less complex video game. The two groups had their vision tested afterwards and the group that played the shooting video game had better vision.

“Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information,” said Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.”

“Still, what do gamers have to do with an eye care practice, like mine?” you might be asking. The answer is more than you realize. Like everyone else, they will need comprehensive eye exams. They will also need other services. One eye doctor, Amanda Nanasy, O.D., who works in Pembroke Pines, Florida, works with two university esports teams. The gamers that she works with play games on PCs and their vision needs include some of the following:
Anticipatory timing
Perception span
Spatial localization
Visual memory
Accuracy of fixation
Binocular alignment/fixation disparity

Nanasy does vision training with the gamers, which involves enhanced intake of visual information. This helps the gamers to play better and get higher scores. She has also found that offering treatment such as dry eye therapies, as well as offer computer lenses and blue light protection help gamers to be the best they can be in their sport. The computer lenses give the gamer the most comfortable vision and the blue light protection reduces eyestrain, which leads to better performance.

It seems like a lot to do for something that came into existence only the last 20 years. Yet, this is a group that appreciates science and technology, so you will have a captive audience that will utilize your services.

Sources:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-videogames-vision/study-says-video-games-are-good-for-eyes-idUSSP18115520070207

https://www.optometricmanagement.com/issues/2020/march-2020/game-on-esports-in-practice

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