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Videogames Sharpen Player Vision

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the yay-eye-razors dept.

Games 72

Via GameSpot, the news on the University of Rochester site is that playing videogames can actually improve your vision. Games, especially action shooters, actually change the way your brain looks at the world. According to the findings of researchers Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green, visual processing is enhanced through consistent play of complex graphical titles. Simple orientation tests were much easier for a group that played UT, compared to a group that only played Tetris.

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72 comments

Well almost. (5, Funny)

PhilDEE (1016409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919334)

When I'll eventually need glasses, I'll instead consider turning up the anisotropic filtering in the real world.

Or disable depth blur (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920642)

Or disable the depth blur. I still remember going back to COH after the I6 or I7 patch hit, can't really remember which. So they've added all these nice detailed textures everywhere, bumpmapping and... wtf... anything farther than 100 ft or so looks like smeared crap. Like a bubblejet printed picture left out in the rain. Then I turn off the new depth blur option and everything's sharp again.

So, yeah, if you find yourself having a bad case of myopia IRL, look for that setting in the options.

Kidding aside, that's one thing that... makes me seriously wonder, to say the least. More than a decade of hardware acceleration, billions of R&D dollars spent on making cards powerful enough for 16x anisotropy and 6x FSAA in 1600x1200, more texture memory and bandwidth than you can shake a DMA at, and... we use it to make it all look blurry and shitty like it's 1991 again. Who comes up with this kind of ideas anyway?

Interesting... (3, Interesting)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919350)

My wife and I (yes, I know, this is /. and mentioning wives/girlfriends is controversial) have been playing Unreal Tournament on a regular basis for a while now. I wonder if that's got anything at all to do with my left eye's improvement in my last exam. I had to have my corrective lens prescription weakened a bit.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Flamebait)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920404)

I was just gonna do a big all caps thing about how there should be no women talked about on the site, we must all conform to the geek stereotype with no girlfriend, nice and sarcastic, etc, then stupid-ass slashdot gave me this: Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Someone needs to recode those lameness filters to account for sarcasm. :P Fuck you and your stupid rules, slashdot.

Re:Interesting... (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920594)

My wife and I (yes, I know, this is /. and mentioning wives/girlfriends is controversial) have been playing Unreal Tournament

I'm in need of game-playing partner, myself. Where can I buy this "wife"?

Re:Interesting... (3, Funny)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920670)

I'm in need of game-playing partner, myself. Where can I buy this "wife"?
I found mine at this new chain of stores called "College." They have them on display all over the place, but unfortunately they haven't quite gotten compatibility issues straightened out, so you may have to window shop for a while, and test drive a few.

Interestingly, I'd looked at the very same model (same serial number too if you can believe that) that I ultimately ended up with back in high school; I guess she or I got a software upgrade since then since our systems were more compatible this time around.

Re:Interesting... (1)

TacNuke (890744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17940788)

I found one of those "wife" units at that chain of stores and test drove it for a while. She is the 1.0 version but must have rebooted after purchase and automatically rolled back her libido drivers .........strange

Re:Interesting... (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920716)

All over the place, but man... it'll cost ya!

Re:Interesting... (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921924)

How much, and, more importantly, where there is decent honest, upfront retail shop for them? -I checked cheap whore models, but they are too expensive even for 6 figure salaried professional if purchased for 24/7 365 days .-Decent as a rental solution, but not for longterm.

  With "wife" it seems so complicated - first they never publish a price list upfront, and get offended every time I am trying to figure this important part out . So far I was stuck at this step, as I cannot bring myself for long term investment without knowing the price. Finding a decent shop for "wife" products, with published prices, good RMA policy and customer service (like newegg) would be a boon, I tell ya!

Re:Interesting... (1)

Tesla Tank (755530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922642)

As other posters have mentioned, playing games doesn't improve your "vision", but your "visual processing" capability. So it is likely that the improvement in your left eye is not due to playing UT. Still, congratulations on your better vision. I wish my eyes would spontaneously improve.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17923394)

A slight diversion, but related nonetheless. Last Friday I got laser eye surgery (really just a "procedure" as it was 15 minutes per eye) and my Halo 2 rating went from 24 to 27 the next day...

Re:Interesting... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17923834)

I can buy that visual processing improves. The actual usefulness in application outside of videogames?

I don't know...the only thing I can come up with is the internet and filtering out the massive amount of useless information for what I'm actually looking for. My poor dad takes minutes to find what he needs because he doesn't recognize the arrangement patterns of webpages. He actually goes left to right, line by line, starting from the top, and working to the bottom.

Re:Interesting... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17923676)

I've been playing (mainly) first person shooters since Wolfenstein 3D, and my vision has only become worse over the years: On the other hand, I've become a lot better at visual processing of situations/environments (which I think the article is actually talking about).

Red eyes (3, Insightful)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919360)

3:00AM, red eyes, they hurt.
I don't see how videogames sharpen player vision.
I can't see anything... ;)

Re:Red eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17923646)

Red Eyes + Video Games at 3:00AM = ...what was I writing? Man, we're completely out of Oreos! What was I writing? I'm hungry!

Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (5, Funny)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919390)

These murder simulators even go so far as enhancing the person who trains under them to become a better murderer. We must stop them now because their eyesight is almost good enough to hit us from 1000 yards with no scope. Hurry, lobby congress!

Re:Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (4, Funny)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919498)

How could you stop them? FBI snippers are not trained to aim at people performing circle-straff-rocket-jumps all the time.

Re:Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920480)

Give them a bigger pair of scissors...

Re:Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (1)

thatnerdguy (551590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17932682)

Damn it, where's my mod points when I need them...you made me laugh even though I just finished a night shift and am looking longingly at my bed.

Re:Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17923772)

There's no choice but to arm police forces with automatic rocket launchers. It's about time.

Re:Sharpening those eyes so you can murder more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17925250)

They should hire FPS Doug. He can headshot with no scope.

Visual processing may be faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919398)

but the eyestrain and migraines are a bitch. pWn3d!

Not vision? (4, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919400)

From they way they describe the test, it sounds less like it improved vision and more like it improved visual processing, which is nothing new.

Re:Not vision? (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919860)

My thoughts exactly. Is it a question of your eyesight actually improving, or are you learning to pay more attention to smaller details happening around you? I'd say that it's probably more of the latter. However, constantly moving and refocusing your eyes on different things can have a slight effect on your eyesight.

Re:Not vision? (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920866)

However, constantly moving and refocusing your eyes on different things can have a slight effect on your eyesight.

I'll have to disagree because everything has a slight effect on your eyesight. I havent had a change in prescription in years and i've been an avid videogame (and FPS) player for even longer. It's amazing to be able to focus on the flight patterns of a fly for a short while and on occasion come close to catching them mid-flight. I think sometimes its more of an annoyance because its hard not to pick up on small details people tend to ignore.

you find it annoying too? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922536)

I am almost 30 now, and my eyesight hasn't wanned but slightly in the last few years. I used to be able to see individual pine needles on a top tree branch 400 yds away. I was allways pointing out things I thought were "amazing" and it iritated people. Now I see closer to what my friends saw when I was 20 or so, and my 30 yo freinds think I am some sort of cyborg w/ super vision.

Re:Not vision? (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920004)

From they way they describe the test, it sounds less like it improved vision and more like it improved visual processing, which is nothing new.
Isn't it? It's not something I follow closely but I'm only aware of tests that have previously linked playing games with improved hand-eye coordination, which is also "improved visual processing" I guess, but not the same thing as what this test is showing. Improving what your brain can resolve from what it sees is probably not so different from just seeing better in many situations.

Re:Not vision? (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920706)

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING

Discussion closed. There is nothing else to post. You, sir, are right on the money.

Or is it the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17921854)

While I agree that your suggestion is more likely, perhaps it's backwards.

Maybe people with good vision or visual processing are more likely to play games like UT, and people with poorer vision or processing are more likely to play Tetris.

Re:Or is it the other way around? (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922200)

It's a good thing the researchers thought of and dealt with this obvious ambiguity.

Heard that before (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919508)

actually change the way your brain looks at the world.
I was sure I had heard something like this somewhere already, then it hit me like a baseball bat in the hands a schoolyard bully it was Jack Thompson [wikipedia.org] . Who would of thought that he was actually ahead of the game.

Not just vision (1)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919636)

I noticed a marked improvement in my hand-eye coordination after I first started playing Nintendo games regularly as a kid (though considering how uncoordinated I was, really the only way was up :)

I call BS! (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919640)

the news on the University of Rochester site is that playing videogames can actually improve your vision.

Are they making glasses with WallHack(tm) now? I know that helped my game plenty.

NEWS @ 11 (1)

Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919672)


We get better at things we do more often.

Re:NEWS @ 11 (2, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919920)

We get better at things we do more often.
Sight isn't a skill like playing a sport. By your logic someone who has sex or masturbates a lot will ejaculate "better". Maybe true, but it's certainly not a given. ...although if anyone would know that one I think Slashdot is the place to look.

Re:NEWS @ 11 (1)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919974)

We get better at things we do more often.
Sight isn't a skill like playing a sport. By your logic someone who has sex or masturbates a lot will ejaculate "better". Maybe true, but it's certainly not a given. ...although if anyone would know that one I think Slashdot is the place to look.
They won't ejaculate better, but they'll sure as hell masturbate better.

Re:NEWS @ 11 (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920052)

I have sex AND masturbate a lot, and I can tell you this:

You learn how to do the inout or fist pump so it FEELS better, but squirting is squirting (no relation to zune)

examine haystack, get needle (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920162)

I've been playing video games for over 20 years and my eyesight sucks. My entire immediate family wears glasses so I don't know what combination of genetics and staring at CRTs is responsible for this.

However, my perception is definitely better than many other people I know. Despite my glasses I was even given the nickname "The Eye" because of my knack for pointing out small details of importance or amusement. I don't know but have a good feeling that video games are largely responsible for this - especially graphical adventure games like old Sierra and Lucasarts titles where you had to study a scene extensively to determine the next course of action.

Re:examine haystack, get needle (1)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921274)

Well, I don't know what my genetics are like. My dad lasted into his 50's without glasses, though my mom has had glasses since school. So I'm 50/50 on that one.

Thing is I've been playing computer games since I was about 6 going from green and amber monochrome to CGA to VGA and all them arcade games and consoles, etc. Point is, I've done a LOT of gaming up to now (26), and I'm a programmer so I spend my days in front of monitors. Then I go home and spend some more time in front of monitors.. And if prevailing knowledge had been right, I would have had bad eyesight by now. But I don't, I have 20/20 vision. I once had a optometrist TRY to find something wrong with my eyes (paid by the company), and he found squat. He looked quite let down.

So... yeah.... I can believe this. FWIW my brother has also been a game addict for that long and also has no need for glasses.

Good ol' U of R (1)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920330)

Despite being stuck in a shit town called Rochester, NY, U of R does some awesome research. The local paper had an article a month or so back about a video game study they did and how they evoke the same emotional reactions that other things in life do, or something. (Duh, any gamer coulda told you that.) Anyways, it seems we gamers have a friend in the U of R. Two positive research studies for video games, whoo hoo!

Re:Good ol' U of R (1)

WingedEarth (958581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17940020)

There's nothing "shit town" about Rochester. After all, they founded: 1) the biggest newspaper chain in the country (Gannett) 2) the oldest and biggest camera company in the world (Kodak) 3) the best telegraph company (Western Union) 4) the best photocopier company (Xerox) 5) the best lens company (Bausch & Lomb) Rochester is one of the most culturally developed cities in the U.S. The best music school in the country (Eastman School) and optics school in the country (at U of R) are in Rochester. Three major religions were founded in Rochester (The Church of Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventism, and Spiritualism). Rochester has one of the oldest jazz/brass scenes in the country (Chuck Mangione, Cab Calloway), and is responsible for women's rights (Susan B. Anthony). Do you hate all the outsourcing of manufacturing? Well Rochester is the home of America's last great apparel brands that still makes clothing locally (for the most part): Hickey Freeman. Also, Rochester has the second highest number of patents each year (after Silicon Valley). Some major inventions include: 1) film, and the Kodak camera (by George Eastman) 2) the machine gun (by Josephus Requa) 3) the automobile (by George B. Selden) Rochester also has the best bar / late night food in the country. Top that!. Hey speaking of reasearch at the U of R, the University of Rochester has the most powerful laser in the world (the Omega), so watch what you say or you'll be vaporized. Worried about all these wars going on? Well, you should know that our military's satellite imaging goes through Rochester (from a former Kodak subsidiary), since Rochester's the imaging capital of the world. It's disgusting how people label a great city as a "shit town" for not having a starbucks on every corner. Open your eyes, jackass.

Re:Good ol' U of R (1)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17941894)

Tell me something I don't know. I was born in and (sadly) still reside in Rochester, I know the history. (I'm leaving after I finish my associate's degree.) Do you actually LIVE in Rochester? I do, and it fucking sucks. I hate this city. I wasn't bemoaning the lack of great companies or general history. I'm talking about the city itself. It sucks and it's dying. Young people are leaving in droves. Downtown is almost dead compared to how it was 30 years ago. The city schools are shit. The per capita murder rate in Rochester was highest in the state in 2005, and second in 2006. And let's not forget the wonderful weather.

Anyways, it's a completely subjective matter, so keep your history lessons to yourself, "jackass."

Re:Good ol' U of R (1)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950268)

I moved to Rochester from Southern California. I am not impressed. This only fun thing to do is urban explore all the abandoned buildings that are cropping up due to the city dying.

Tetris hallucinations (3, Funny)

My name is Bucket (1020933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920808)

FPSs may have given me better vision, but thank to Tetris I'll never look at tile floors or window panes the same way again.

Re:Tetris hallucinations (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17923742)

Hehe, reminds me of my history-classroom's ceiling in highschool, which depicted various tetris pieces all Escher-esque fitting into eachother, and which I'd use to keep myself busy 'playing' virtual tetris. :)

Also, with this [kotaku.com] vandalism will never be the same again :)

Tetris Vision (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921156)

After a few rounds of tetris, I can see blocks even when I close my eyes.

That's got to mean I've got even better vision to see things that aren't even normally visible.

(I'm not convinced they're not there, you see)

Motion sickness (1)

El Nigromante (1059332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921252)

In some way you "train" your brain to process more efficiently fast images with much information content...

From my own experience with shooters, I remember I sometimes suffered motion sickness when I started playing quake. I also notice it is harder to follow the images when I have not played from a long time.

Anyway, I think this is more related to your brain, not your eyes. You may just learn to take into account only the "important" visual information and discard the rest.

/. "Affect"? (1)

RetepMc (814214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921506)

They should have had another group reading /. for 8 hours to see the affects.

If it does the opposite of 1st person shooters, and makes vision worse, we all may have no choice but to go home and game for a few hours to repair any damage done to our eyes throughout the day.

This study needs more funding!

Subtle assumption... (1)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922932)

If it does the opposite of 1st person shooters, and makes vision worse, we all may have no choice but to go home and game for a few hours to repair any damage done to our eyes throughout the day.
 
We all know no one would read /. at home.
 
I admit it, I only read /. at work.

Tetris (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921618)

I've got to wonder if the people who identified the T shapes actually did it by seeing the shape itself or identifying them by color. All licensed Tetris games now apparently follow a guideline [tetrisconcept.com] , part of which dictates the colors of the Tetrominos. I would guess that quickly identifying the outline of a shape suggests a greater visual acuity than identifying a shape by its color.

Re:Tetris (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17926202)

It would be interesting to have people play several rounds of tetris, then switch the colors up on them and see if their game degrades.

The military has known this for years(centuries?) (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922282)

Vision is not enhanced, perception is. You are training your brain to quickly evaluate information that is not directly in line of sight. In a RTS, you are looking intently at what you are shooting at, with literally part of an eye out for your next target and/or threat.

Your peripheral vision is mainly a warning system. Through practice you train your brain to look for the "not right" peripheral vision information. Processing speed of the information is also increased.

I wish I had more authority to cite beside this is what I was taught during my time in the service.

Umm.. control group??!!? (1)

Je-Tze (877130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922570)

Sigh...
Doing things in a scientific-esque manner and pretending your doing science is far worse than being just being unscientific and acknowledging it. This study has a lot of scientifikiness to it. Of course, it's unfortunately not unusual in that respect, but that doesn't make it OK.

Oh, and i only skimmedTFA. So if i missed the part where they admitted their study has zero scientific value, then i apologize.

Well... (1)

ThePsion5 (1037256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922634)

...Just let me know once I can pick up things just by walking over them. I tried that with the hamster yesterday and it didn't work at all!

Contrary Opinion. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17923432)

Maybe it matters WHICH game you are playing. Certainly after about an hour of Dr. Mario, my eyes want to call it a day!

rhY

great.. (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924216)

when my wife read this she noted i must now have eyes like a hawk.. then she asked me if her ass looked fat, thanks a lot Slashdot!
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