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Violent Video Games Can Improve Vision

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the look-sharp dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 205

Ponca City, We love you writes "According to a new study, people who played fighting games on their PCs became up to a 58 percent better at perceiving fine contrast differences, an important aspect of eyesight. The breakthrough is significant because it was previously thought that the ability to notice even very small changes in shades of grey against a uniform background could not be improved. Contrast sensitivity is the primary limiting factor in how well one sees. Volunteers in the study played intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks with either Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the results were compared with another group who played The Sims 2, which is richly visual but does not require as much hand-eye coordination. The improvements lasted for months after game play stopped. The new finding suggests action video games could be used as training devices as a useful complement to eye-correction techniques, since gaming may teach the brain's visual cortex to make better use of the information it receives."

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Have to see (5, Funny)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383077)

You've got to be able to see well to pwn enemies with headshots and get first post!

Re:Have to see (5, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383115)

Indeed, but so would any game thats fast paced, requires acute visual discrepancies, and something is at risk, or is rewarded for the ability.

But, in classic KDawson style... "Violent" games... may as well say "Stabbing people to death improves hand-eye coordination", when the articles starts with "Video games with lots of action, such as the shoot-'em-up variety, can improve your vision, a new study finds.

Re:Have to see (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383141)

"

You dropped this. I though you would want it back.

Re:Have to see (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383433)

t

Hey dude, you dropped this while helping that other guy. I thought you might still want it.

Re:Have to see (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383655)

t

Hey dude, you dropped this while helping that other guy. I thought you might still want it.

You spent a long time spell checking that post, didn't you?

Re:Have to see (1)

qreeves (1363277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384129)

Damn cowards, go spellcheck the rest internetz. That should keep you busy for a few decades and leave the rest of us in peace.

Re:Have to see (5, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383741)

You wouldn't happen to have seen my car keys by any chance, would you?

Re:Have to see (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383153)

Indeed, but so would any game thats fast paced, requires acute visual discrepancies, and something is at risk, or is rewarded for the ability.

He's talking about Doom 3. All you can see there is shades of dark brown and red. Also, the violence helps with the fear factor, which means you'll pay attention to the subtle differences more.

Re:Have to see (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383239)

Actually the older games are probably better finding just two tiny bits and putting your target on them has to be harder than the more modern engines with better scalings.

Re:Have to see (3, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383359)

Clearly, there should be studies done on video games that don't deal with violence at all, but only deal with sex. I want a study done to determine if viewing pornography can improve visual acuity. Sex and sexuality have often been related to blindness (amongst other nasties); it would be good if it can be scientifically demonstrated that sex can actually be beneficial.

Re:Have to see (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383825)

Hmm, on a somewhat related note, what about people who analyze images and video for a living (I was thinking low quality porn, people desperately looking for "penetration")... but spy satellites, robbery footage, etc...

As far as sex being proven "good" it already has, there are numerous studies done on people who have frequent sex, and not, and the length of their lives etc, however that could just be because of the cardio (which should be good for your eyes too), rather than the actual act itself, but hormones may come into play as well.

The masturbation leading to blindness, is probably a superstition sort of thing, some guy had an orgasm, temporarily making his vision obscured, and he just took it way too far..."luckely I stopped, or it would have been permanent"

Re:Have to see (2, Informative)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384117)

The masturbation leading to blindness, is probably a superstition sort of thing, some guy had an orgasm, temporarily making his vision obscured, and he just took it way too far..."luckely I stopped, or it would have been permanent"

Or some guy was looking for some lesbian softcore and came across something like goatse, and in order to protect him (as brains are wont to do during traumatic experiences) his brain shut down the visual centers. I would correlate that with wanking if you were doing your bidness to an image gallery and halfway through that happened.

It's Evolution, my dear Watson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27384083)

See better or die. Simple.

Acecoolco (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383105)

Ok, so playing violent video games makes you a serial killer, and improves your eyesight thus making you superhuman?

Just wait until they add laser beams on top of gamers heads!!!

We are effing doomed!

Re:Acecoolco (4, Informative)

underworld (135618) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383607)

Everyone knows the laser beams go on top of sharks, not gamer's heads! Get with the program!

Re:Acecoolco (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383697)

hey i would love a laser beam on my head, would make it easier to shoot on games without crosshairs, but id sure go through a lot of monitors..

Re:Acecoolco (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384027)

RTS gamers have a huge advantage in this category, though. Hitler was a real life RTS gamer and he didn't even need to pick up the crowbar.

I'm more worried about Korean RTS gamers with laser-mounted satellites and GPS drones than FPS gamers with lasers added to their heads.

Net Benefit? (3, Interesting)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383145)

I have a serious problem with eye strain, even when using nice monitors. I'm not alone. Because of this, I have a hard time believing that there is a net benefit in terms of overall eye health. Doing visual-based puzzles or learning how to paint are probably far healthier ways to increase perception of fine contrast differences.

Also, does anyone have any idea why contrast sensitivity would be a particularly important thing to improve?

Re:Net Benefit? (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383265)

What do you consider a "nice monitor"? Some 19" LCD with horrible contrast ratio, or an 24" SGI branded CRT going at 180hz? What is your resolution? Too often people complain they have eye strain, then you realize they are trying to look at 1280x1024 on a 17" monitor.

Contrast sensitivity is pretty important. Ask any Vietnam vet. Ask any microbiologist. Ask anyone trying to play Doom 3...

Re:Net Benefit? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383327)

then you realize they are trying to look at 1280x1024 on a 17" monitor.

That surely only matters if you're too retarded to enlarge your font size (which you can do even on windoze nowadays, though by default windoze does some dumb shit compared to linux/x11 or macosx, you have to reconfigure it). You should be running at the highest resolution * refresh rate combo your system allows, but just making the fonts bigger. Because an outline font engine will give crisper, clearer fonts at a higher resolution (higher DPI), since there are simply more pixels per letter to work with with for a given "real" (physical world) font size.

So if you're measuring your font sizes in pixels instead of natural units like points or mm, you're probably Doing It Wrong.

Re:Net Benefit? (2, Insightful)

Mr680x0 (1116783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383565)

You have a valid point, but spelling Windows as windoze makes people not take you seriously...

Re:Net Benefit? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383991)

You have a valid point, but spelling Windows as windoze makes people not take you seriously...

Well, windows marketers certainly. Nobody else gives a shit.

Re:Net Benefit? (1)

Mr680x0 (1116783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383531)

What do you consider a "nice monitor"? Some 19" LCD with horrible contrast ratio, or an 24" SGI branded CRT going at 180hz? What is your resolution? Too often people complain they have eye strain, then you realize they are trying to look at 1280x1024 on a 17" monitor. Contrast sensitivity is pretty important. Ask any Vietnam vet. Ask any microbiologist. Ask anyone trying to play Doom 3...

I don't have problems with eye strain and I'm using 1600x1200 on an older Apple Studio CRT. I didn't increase the font sizes either. Also, you ought to put that the quote in your sig was from the song Lithium and not just something he randomly said.

Re:Net Benefit? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383713)

Contrast sensitivity is pretty important. Ask any Vietnam vet. Ask any microbiologist. Ask anyone trying to play Doom 3...

I wonder how the Vietnam vets went about using flashlights. Did they put their guns away every time they wanted to use one?

Re:Net Benefit? (1)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384151)

Nah they had duct/k tape [ideafinder.com] way before Nam.

Re:Net Benefit? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383277)

Also, does anyone have any idea why contrast sensitivity would be a particularly important thing to improve?

Being able to see better in the dark? Less important than being able to focus but still important. When it's very dimly lit, would you rather have that little more contrast ratio or be eaten by a grue?

Re:Net Benefit? (5, Insightful)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383489)

I have a serious problem with eye strain, even when using nice monitors. I'm not alone. Because of this, I have a hard time believing that there is a net benefit in terms of overall eye health. Doing visual-based puzzles or learning how to paint are probably far healthier ways to increase perception of fine contrast differences.

The reason why FPS games help your contrast perception is rather simple. If you want to stay alive, you have to be able to see the guy moving around that is 3 shades of gray lighter than the dark corner he's hiding in. Because of the required reaction time to be successful (aka shooting him before he shoots you) the game trains you to closely watch for these contrast differences.

In a visual-based puzzle game like Bejeweled (or any of the zillion color-matching games out there) all the game pieces are already high contrast. You see a field of 5 or 6 different colored pieces, not thousands or millions of colors, like most modern FPS games provide. Hence, the game doesn't train you to look for the small contrast differences. Painting may provide some benefit, but painting is a much slower process than fragging some n00b who's coming around the corner with a rocket launcher. You have as much time as you want to figure out if one color is different than the other. Taking an extra few miliseconds deciding on your next brush stroke for your still life painting isn't going to result in a grenade being lodged in your sphincter.

Re:Net Benefit? (3, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383617)

In a visual-based puzzle game like Bejeweled (or any of the zillion color-matching games out there) all the game pieces are already high contrast. You see a field of 5 or 6 different colored pieces, not thousands or millions of colors, like most modern FPS games provide. Hence, the game doesn't train you to look for the small contrast differences.

So... you're saying they should make a super-low-contrast version of Bejeweled and it might have a related effect on vision?

Re:Net Benefit? (2, Insightful)

zach297 (1426339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383705)

You'll also have to have the player's avatar explode if they took a few extra milliseconds.

Re:Net Benefit? (3, Informative)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383709)

Also, does anyone have any idea why contrast sensitivity would be a particularly important thing to improve?

Among other things contrast is an essential part of edge detection which in turn is a key part of how we see shapes. Better contract detection helps with seeing in low light conditions or where the subject is visually obscured. It wouldn't help so much when the subject is just optically smaller (e.g. physically farther away).

I'm no expert but I suspect a lot of our visual system is based on contrast because there are so many variables that would really mess with the absolute colors. For example, varying lighting or the changes in pupil dilation and retinal sensitivity that happen automatically.

Re:Net Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383801)

Forget about getting a nice monitor and just get a bigger one, and sit further away. Contrast isn't as important wrt. eyestrain as accommodation. Specifically, it would be ideal if your eye was UNaccommodating. Putting your eyes into "macro mode" for hours at a time can't be good for them.

When I was a young lad, the recommendation was to sit *at least* 24" away from the monitor. This was in an era when 14" (12.5 viewable) CRT monitors were considered.. well, not big, but pretty average, at least.

I would've thought that LCDs would've taken care of a good part of this problem just by being thinner and therefore closer to the wall.

Re:Net Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383875)

Contrast sensitivity is important because it is largely how we perceive shape. You wouldn't be able to tell a sphere apart from a circle if it weren't for contrast.

Re:Net Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27384055)

You know what I have a hard time believing is that anecdotal evidence and random assertions would dissuade people from the results of a scientific study. As far as the importance of contrast sensitivity, try turning your nice monitor's contrast all the way down and tell me how important it is; or maybe that's your problem with eye strain.

they also dull your sense of logic and reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383149)

your ability to wrestle with complex issues of morality, history, philosophy, the nature of mankind, the purpose of violence, its consequences, and so forth and so on.

go to any video game website, try to find some meaningful discussion there related to the bigger issues of life.

invariably you are met with brutish impudence. it is not that video game addicts do not have opinions on these matters, but that the discussion of such items in a reasonable and discoursive manner has fallen beyond the reach of their crushed and broken minds.

impulsive action, reaction, twitch, and the inexorable logic of tactic, teamwork, command, and control, bursts of sputum and vile reproachments,,, these are the language of the internet video game discussion boards, and they are the primary building blocks of violent video games.

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383203)

go to any video game website, try to find some meaningful discussion there related to the bigger issues of life.

To find such a discussion, shouldn't you search in a place about the real world?

Also, http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=913782 [bethsoft.com]

literature, film, poetry, theatre, even sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383437)

all will lead to discussions of themes such as family, dignity, respect, honor, defeat, tragedy, loss, heartache, recovery, illness, injury, legend, inquiry, investigation, history, politics, society, and other larger issues.

people talking about violent video games are reduced to chimpanzee-like sqwakings about their latest giblet fest, screaming from the tree tops of the ladder board, that they have defeated the betas, killed their children, and impregnated their women monkeys.

this is what we are teaching our children. to behave like animals.

Re:literature, film, poetry, theatre, even sports (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383481)

people talking about politics are reduced to chimpanzee-like sqwakings about their latest candidates, screaming from the tree tops of anywhere, that they have defeated the other party, killed their children, and impregnated their women monkeys.

You had me going until you mentioned politics.

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (4, Insightful)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383281)

What about the other direction? A lot of these people you are complaining about may never have had any of these skills, and it's only through violent games that they have learned the logic of tactics, teamwork, command and control. Also, anybody that has learned tactics and teamwork is halfway to learning other social skills. Social skills are nothing more than tactics necessary to navigating the minefield of human interaction.

Not only that, but you contradict yourself. You say "they dull your sense of logic and reason", and then talk about "the inexorable logic of tactic, teamwork, command and control" being a central part of those people's language, all of which require logic and reason.

I think you need to go back and re-think your argument, and be more precise in your language.

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383333)

Shhh. Silence. All right thinking people know that you can only learn teamwork from real-world violence and violence simulations. Go team!

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383589)

I'd say you must be knew here for feeding the trolls but how the hell does one say that to a 3digit?

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (0, Flamebait)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383703)

Fuck off. Same thing you say to any prick.

Re:they also dull your sense of logic and reason (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383451)

maybe you shouldn't talk about those things on a forum people use to talk about gaming. you're off topic.

I have experienced negative effects from such (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383161)

I find that when playing 3D FPS games for too long, my eyes start having a hard time with depth. When playing the game, the focus point is the same for everything. But when I look out into the room or the real world, there is a kind of shock and discomfort until I get adjusted again.

But they are probably right about the ability to maintain good eyesight. The fact is, we strain to see all the fine details of things in the distance ... to shoot it or not be killed by it. Eyes are muscles like others and if you don't use them, they get weaker. My laptop display is 1920x1200 and I wish it were finer... most people are like "you can read that?!"

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383313)

Try a Virtual Boy for only 20 minutes...

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383583)

Try a Virtual Boy for only 20 minutes...

No thanks. I prefer my Virtual Girl. She's easy on the eyes and takes my breath away.

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383695)

No thanks. I prefer my Virtual Girl. She's easy on the eyes and takes my breath away.

You need to adjust the vacuum cleaner suction to minimum.

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383379)

I'm in the same boat. After a few hours of straight gameplay it's very disorienting to suddenly be moving and seeing in 3 dimensions. I find it to be the least stressing if you simply close your eyes for a few seconds after moving away from the monitor. It's as though the blackness resets things, or maybe it's the action itself.

1680x1050 on a 15.4" laptop display makes most shoulder surfer's eye's bleed :)

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383429)

Dell Latitude D830 here... 15.4" also... yet at 1920x1200. The display is the most important thing. And if there is even a single dead pixel, it is useless to me.

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383517)

I didn't even know you could get 15.4" displays that ran at such a res.

I'd prefer not to have to deal with the eyestrain though. Unless everything has been scaled up to a reasonable size of course, otherwise I can't help but thing you're doing massive long term eye damage that you aren't aware of just yet. :)

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383561)

I'm 40 years old. If it would cause damage, I think it would have happened by now.

Long ago, people used to say "don't sit so close to the TV!!" I was always inches from the TV. People also used to believe that when you get old, your teeth fall out...

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (2, Interesting)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383463)

I find that long amounts of FPS gaming starts to make me dizzy.

I used to play Starcraft for 8 hours at a time, no problem at all, but after two hours of playing something like MOH or Counterstrike I start to feel a little off and have to take a break for a bit.

I don't get motion sickness. My screen resolutions are pretty high and the refresh rates are 80Hz+, so I'm thinking it is my eyes. I'm myopic and wear glasses to correct it, and I've always wondered if this has something to do with it.

3D (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383547)

I wonder if this is why I can't see 3D effects in movies, TV shows, etc. because I played too many 3D games with my bare eyes. I recalled I used to be able to see them when I was little (e.g., Captain EO at Disneyland) and before 3D games existed. I watched those three SuperBowl TV ads, Chuck 3D episode, and recently saw two 3D shows at Disneyland's California Adventure. Is anyone noticing this too or just me? :( I also can't see those stereograms and those never worked.

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383601)

Didn't the whole "eyes are like muscles" thing get proven wrong already? Staring at things too far away to read does not make them any easier to read over time, and staring at microscope slides has yet to do the same either.

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383727)

But when I look out into the room or the real world, there is a kind of shock and discomfort until I get adjusted again.

That happens to me after reading a book for a while. If I look up after a few hours of reading, the world looks very blurry. I've never good explanation why (other than wild conjecture).

Re:I have experienced negative effects from such (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383797)

I find that when playing 3D FPS games for too long, my eyes start having a hard time with depth.

Go play paintball.

Violent? (5, Insightful)

Jangchub (1139089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383167)

Of course I only read the summary, but why use the word violent? It sounds like this has nothing to do with violence but fast paced complex spatial reaction.

Re:Violent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383283)

You must be new here.

-Annon

Re:Violent? (5, Informative)

j01123 (1147715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383307)

Of course I only read the summary, but why use the word violent? It sounds like this has nothing to do with violence but fast paced complex spatial reaction.

Because /. has an ax to grind with people who make dubious claims about the harm caused by violence in video games. What better way to combat them than to implicitly make dubious claims about the benefits of violence in video games? (Though, to be fair, TFA is actually titled "Playing violent computer games 'can improve vision'".)

Re:Violent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383417)

Thats like saying beating your wife is ok if their father did it.

Lets break the cycle and not repeat stupidity.

- Annon

Re:Violent? (1)

nbetcher (973062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383329)

Again, with only reading the summary I would speculate from my own personal experience that violent video games bring their users into a trance to which it is a fight for virtual survival. The better your reaction time, the better you play at the game and with some games being more focused on not killing/hurting teammates, your visual perception and interpretation needs to have a low latency. A non-violent Battlefield 2, Call of Duty, or BF2: Project Reality isn't going to have the same effect as the original titles.

Re:Violent? (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383553)

Well actually there kind of is a legitimate reason to that. Games such as the Call of Duty series involve enemies wearing camouflage, and sometimes they blend in damn well with what you see them against, mostly when they're in the dark or mostly hidden. If you've ever played a lot of Call of Duty online, you must have realised that careful observation is absolutely crucial in the survival of your player. The sniper in ghillies on the facing hill, the camper in the window, the guy in the shady corner, if you see them before they see you you win. If you fail to see them and go about your business normally, you'll be easy game.

So just in what other types of games are such observation skills as important?

corr != caus (4, Insightful)

biased_estimator (1222498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383169)

Where are are you correlation != causation people? This has nothing to do with the violence. Go mod Sims 2 so that you can grow a serial murder/rapist, and I bet you won't improve your vision. This title could be misleading.

Jack Thompson! (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383247)

Yes, it will improve your vision. Because you introduced rape into an innocent game, you will be spending your nights running from Jack Thompson, thus drastically increasing the amount of times you need to differentiate between dark contrasts, thus increasing your fine contrast sensitivity.

Re:corr != caus (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383347)

Uhm...

This study has good controls, so it's more than just 'correlation'.

Re:corr != caus (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383493)

That's never stopped them before.

On Slashdot, "correlation != causation" is shorthand for "I don't like the conclusions of this study."

same game, different maps? (2, Informative)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383185)

Based upon this [visionrx.com] definition and explanation of contrast sensitivity, it may be the horrible lighting that many FPS maps have (I'm looking at you, OAs) that make games particularly valuable for increasing contrast sensitivity. However, it seems that if that were true, the explanation given in the summary for why the Sims isn't as valuable as Call of Duty could be incomplete.

I would love to see a comparison of different maps within the same game -- one with excellent lighting and no dark corners, and the other with shoddy lighting. I'm willing to bet that there will be a measurable difference.

Re:same game, different maps? (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383319)

While I'm sure the lighting does have an effect, that's not the reason games such as The Sims wouldn't be as valuable. It's the level of immersion and the (virtual) struggle for survival in violent games that makes them valuable.

Now, get subtle clues into non-violent games and make the player really feel that failure matters, and then they might be more valuable.

Re:same game, different maps? (2, Informative)

yourexhalekiss (833943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383593)

Unreal Tournament 2004 is very bright. It has fantastic lighting - eye strain is never an issue.

Re:same game, different maps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27384059)

I'd just like to see something like CoD4 (realistic, very hard to tell a camoflauged enemy from the background) to say Quake(pick your flavor) with a pro config (texture quality set to nothing, enemy models forced to fullbright skins etc -- stuff that makes it a lot easier to see people)

Seems due to darker not more violent games (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383193)

As I remember it, Sims tends to be more brightly colored, with a higher contrast among people and objects. UT and COD typically have people hiding in shadows, so you have to learn to pay attention to low-contrast details. This is a horrible conclusion and the authors should be shot.

Unless the authors actually made this conclusion and it's the summary that's wrong, not that that ever happens.

Not suprising (2, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383195)

Someone who's played counterstrike a lot is physically conditioned to react as soon as possible to movement (counter terrorists coming around a corner).
Is it also news that someone who runs a lot may be really good at running ?

In a related study... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383197)

...some interesting results were generated when the group that had been playing "Unreal Tournament 2004" and "Call of Duty 2" then started playing "The Sims 2". Remarked one researcher, "the carnage was truely remarkable".

Where do i sign up? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383213)

I wonder how much these subjects were paid to play these games for 50 hours a week? Where do i sign up for these game studies? Although it would really suck if i was assigned to the sims group...

Re:Where do i sign up? (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383631)

Although it would really suck if i was assigned to the sims group...

You mean, you'd rather not play at all, then get paid to play Sims?

Re:Where do i sign up? (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383677)

Sadly, reading comprehension might be a requisite skill for volunteers in such a study:

"Volunteers in the study played intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks."

A note on methodology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383219)

Test subjects who played FPS games did better than those who played sim-type games on several tests, including speed and accuracy of sorting an ounce of pot mixed with seeds on the backs of ZZ Top cardboard record jackets.

Night Vision (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383269)

Pfft forget video games, my parents raised me in a cave from the age of 5 to improve my vision in preparation for the inevitable apocalypse. No outside light whatsoever.

We upgraded the cave 3 years ago for broadband, had to get a box for the router because the blinking lights burned my sisters eyes.

In Agreement (1)

br4nd0nh3at (1082179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383271)

I must agree with this. I have eye strain and playing fps helps exercise my eyes. They don't get strained as much as long as I play regularly.

Ahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383297)

Take that macho man randy savage, ahmm I mean idiot anti-violent game parents.

I've found this myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383299)

For a few years back when I was into playing more FPS games, I was able to react and perceive things around me in the real world and work far better than before I'd played them. This is also the case now - several years after. It was particulary effective when driving at night and at spotting speed traps far away in the distance which my passengers would only notice a couple of hundred metres later.
If I had the time now, I'd play them just to hone those skills again.

Welcome to 1983 (1, Offtopic)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383301)

They had the same study out in 1983. Watching small objects dart around improves hand-eye coordination, who-da thunk it? The only difference is putting the yellow journalism label "violent video games" on it and getting Slashdot front page coverage.

Masterbation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383323)

Maybe this is why that masturbation hurts vision thing never came true for me.

Intensive? (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383363)

I'm not much of a video game player myself, but I rather suspect that most people who do play video games regularly, especially teenagers with lots of spare time, rack up more than fifty hours in nine weeks; that's about five and a half hours a week.

Other Studies (3, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383415)

According to other studies, violent games make people violent.

Why believe this study and not the others?

Re:Other Studies (2, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383563)

Objective measurements.

Re:Other Studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383625)

Confirmation bias [skepdic.com] .

Re:Other Studies (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383671)

Because this study has decent controls.

Most of the "violent games make people violent" type studies have no controls, or at the very most, poorly planned and implemented controls.

Pffft, try Quake3! (4, Interesting)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383425)

Those games are pretty slow. UT2004 is kinda fast but still not up the twitch action in Quake 3 (or Quake 2 for that matter).

Back when I played those games my vision and reflexes were enhanced very noticeably. While driving especially I noticed that I could see even the tiniest thing moving or various things that caught be attention. My favorite trick was to grab flies straight out of the air with my hands. It always impressed people. When I stopped playing as much I pretty much lost that ability completely after a few months.

Re:Pffft, try Quake3! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383559)

I also used to do exactly that, or if some small stick-like object was handy bat the flies out of the air and across the room.

I have not tried it in a while but I suspect I could still do it, just not on the first try.

Re:Pffft, try Quake3! (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383581)

Someone hasn't played Instagib bombing run.

Not fighting games (4, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383455)

Those are first person shooters, not fighting games. Fighting games are things like Street Fighter or Soul Calibur, not to be confused with beat 'em ups which are things like Double Dragon or Final Fight.

Re:Not fighting games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383645)

That was the very first thing I thought when I read this. I was confused... Shooters aren't fighting games >_ Person who wrote this hasn't played games obviously.

What about side-scrollers? (3, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383585)

Do they improve peripheral vision? Just sayin'..

Re:What about side-scrollers? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383791)

You joke, but it actually sounds very plausible. You should suggest this idea to the researchers.

Of course the major impact of this article has nothing to do with games so much as that it is overthrowing the prevailing scientific belief that you can't improve your contrast perception. Whether a side-scroller experiment is scientifically interesting likely also depends on what work has already been done on improving peripheral vision. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

obilgatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27383627)

correlation does not equal causation god dammit! :p

It helped me (5, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383653)

I can see all the Grues now.

FPS in real world. (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27383735)

Staring at a flat screen does little for depth perception which is seriously underutilized in such a situation. Although interestingly, ones ability to use parallax to calculate spatial depth, rather than stereo vision, must be massively enhanced, since this is the other way we mentally process our spatial environment.

So yes, a FPS gamer may do a lot better with depth perception if he/she suddenly lost one eye.

To give an example, my father was perplexed by the extremely convex side mirrors on his new truck (yes the "objects in this mirror are closer than they appear" kind), which give a great wide field of view yet he would complain the fish eye perspective meant he couldn't judge depth correctly (and this was his excuse for almost backing into things).

So I climb into the cab and start backing the thing up like I've done it for years.

He pointed out my childhood and adolescence saturated with 2D screens helped me have zero problems, where he was very much an outdoorsman from a young age.

I call BS! (1)

Thantik (1207112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384017)

With as many FPSs as I've played I should have freakin' x-ray vision by now! I'm staring very hard at the girl across the street...but...OH MAH GAWD IT'S A MAN! Turn it off! Turn it off!! I'll never play another FPS for as long as I live.

Some day this can stop? (0, Troll)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#27384113)

Almost every week in /. there is an story about the supposed benefits of some weird aspect of gaming.

To me this implies that /. editors feel guilty of loving games because they really know they're damaging their body (tired eyes, overweight, talking incoherences, etc.) so need every possible excuse to continue with the addiction.

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