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Certain Video Games Improve Eyesight

"Playing all those video games will turn your mind to mush." Pretty sure that's not true, but we don't need scientific evidence to prove it. "Playing all those video games will hurt your eyes." Ah, we've all heard that from our parents at one point or another, and some of us may have thought it was a possibility...after all, it can tire your eyes out if you play a lot at once. But as it turns out, video games can actually help your eyesight.

According to LiveScience, fast-action video games have been proven to improve eyesight. They conducted tests among two groups of non-gamers, and they "trained" one group on 30 hours of fast-paced action titles like Halo and Lost Planet. Those kinds of games, with plenty of movement that draws the eye, pushes the human visual system and in the process, forces the brain to adapt to the situation. Essentially, you're improving your sense of spatial resolution, which lets you see tightly packed objects more clearly. Tightly-packed objects more clearly...? Does that mean our eyesight gets better if the screen is smaller? Yes, that's a joke.

But as that article says, a game like Tetris won't work. You need to make the eye follow rapid movement, and "sedate" games won't help your spatial resolution. Oh, and while we shouldn't have to throw in this disclaimer, we know we have to: if you're near-sighted or far-sighted or have glaucoma or any number of eye/vision defects, playing fast-paced action games won't cure your affliction. This is like saying the pill doesn't protect you from getting STDs, but hey, it must be said.

3/16/2007 Ben Dutka

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