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First Person Shooters (Games) Science

Video Games with Shooting May Improve Eyesight 47

Posted by Zonk
from the then-why-do-we-all-need-contacts dept.
anthemaniac writes "Playing video games that involve firing guns (Gears of War, Halo, take your pick) can improve eyesight, according to a new study. From the article: 'People who started out as non-gamers and then received 30 hours of training on first-person action video games showed a substantial increase in their ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, compared to non-gamers given the same test.' The games push the brain to the limit, the thinking goes, and it adapts by developing better spatial resolution. The effect was not duplicated in more sedate games like Tetris."
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Video Games with Shooting May Improve Eyesight

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  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Friday March 16, 2007 @09:12AM (#18373743)
    masturbation causes blindness so it all equals out I guess.
  • OK even if i accept this as this looks like having some truth, perhaps the researchers of the article forgot to mention that radiation from the monitors can affect your eyes and therefore your eyesight.

    Anyway i am in ... i better go search for my Quake III for the darker side of computing :)

    • the researchers of the article forgot to mention that radiation from the monitors can affect your eyes and therefore your eyesight.

      I presume you are referring to stray radiation in bands such as X-Ray, Microwave, RF, and Ultraviolet rather than visible light radiation? (Obviously, visible light is what you want.) To which I can only point out that LCDs do not leak stray radiation like CRTs do. In fact, they're about as radioactively quiet as you can make a display device. So you can go ahead and play Red St

    • by Sandbags (964742)
      OK, myth 1: Watching TV hurts your eyes. Where this may have been true to an extremely minor extent in the early days of TV but not enough evidence was presented to support it. It was only associated with children who sat extremely close to the TV (2-3 feet). It was actually due to the poor phosphor quality in older TVs and the flickering effect, not the radiation.

      Myth 2: Using a computer can hurt your eyes. This one is more true, but again, not related to the radiation. If you read the ergonomics gu
    • by genrader (563784)
      I have sat in front of a CRT for 12 years and my eyesight has, if anything, gotten better. I use an LCD now, but I have never had "eye strain" from sitting at a computer for 12+ hours in a day or anything.
  • Jeez (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Friday March 16, 2007 @09:17AM (#18373783)

    I've already read this before, and the same comments apply: Eyesight != visual ability

    Sure, they can pick things out better... But they can't actually SEE better. It's not like they needed glasses before and now they don't. This is merely human pattern-recognition training.

    • by Vengeance (46019)
      I think of it as a software upgrade to your optical processing subsystem.

      Besides, exercise tends to help biological systems in general, and FPS games most certainly lead to one exercising that chunk of gray matter.
    • Visual ability = muscle control, fed by muscle strength. The interesting thing is that by using muscles, and nerves to control muscles, you increase the strength of the muscles, and reinforce the nerve pathways for that control. Yes, it doesn't change the lens like a laser shattering/reshaping of the lens would do, but it is an improvement in eyesight. So, yeah eyesight != visual ability, but there still seems to be a strong relation, in terms of use improving function in certain circumstances.

      Ryan Fento
      • Which is IMO why a lot of people end up needing stronger and stronger prescriptions. The Ciliari muscles atrophy because they are no longer required to do as much work.

        Visual ability = muscle control, fed by muscle strength. The interesting thing is that by using muscles, and nerves to control muscles, you increase the strength of the muscles, and reinforce the nerve pathways for that control. Yes, it doesn't change the lens like a laser shattering/reshaping of the lens would do, but it is an improvemen

    • I protest. All those years of playing Doom gave me superhuman abilities. I can instantly tell the difference between my boss and a monster in a dark room. Wait... no I can't.
    • by cowscows (103644)
      While you can argue about technical differences until your face turns blue, the distinction isn't all that important when you consider the end result. Our eyes aren't any good without the visual processing that occurs in our brain, and all the visual processing in the world is pointless without some sort of input(our eyes).

      Regardless of which one you're improving, at the end of the day, your vision is working better and is more useful to you. So yeah, you are seeing better. The lenses of your eye might not
    • Well, your post definitely helped my eyesight by training my brain to filter out junk strings...
    • by Eideewt (603267)
      (eq eyesight visual-ability). "Visual ability" happens to be pretty much the definition of the word, encompassing both ability to detect light and ability to interpret it.
  • RPGs too (Score:4, Funny)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday March 16, 2007 @09:26AM (#18373877)
    In studies, playing a steady amount of MMORPGSs daily also improved the following conditions:

    Depression (urge to kick passing cats and gain exp points)
    Management skills (Can't afford +2 plat armor on a beer budget)
    Nacrolepsy (no explanation needed)

    However, it only worsened the symptoms of kleptomania sufferers.
  • About 4 years ago I was driving in my Jeep down one of thoes 1 lane roads. (Where traffic goes one way and another) It was around midnight and a drunk driver was coming the other way. Just as I was passing him he swirved into my lane. Instantly I turned right as hard as I could to miss him. My Jeep spun around and he hit the back side of my Jeep. It ripped off the back half and I spun out into the ditch. My Jeep was demolished except for the driver side. I was a bit banged up but if not for my quick reactio
    • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday March 16, 2007 @09:49AM (#18374139)
      Insane stunt bonus, $320
    • by Xentor (600436)
      I've got a similar experience... When I was still new to driving (I was only 16 at the time), and had my mother in the car, I took a low-visibility left turn out of an office complex.

      Now, the road curved out of sight on both sides, and maybe I didn't look fast enough, because as I got into the lane, I realized I was about to get hit from behind by a red convertible doing about 60. I quickly swerved across the double-line into the left lane, only to see three cars coming from straight ahead. Another instan
    • by EEBaum (520514)
      Another similar experience here.

      Was getting on the 405 in L.A. on one of those 270-degree-wide-turn-to-the-right onramps. When you hit the straightaway, there's not much visibility and not much time to accelerate to match the speed of traffic. I'd gotten up to 50 to match a mergeable opening when, out of nowhere, no more than 20 feet in front of me, there are two cars in my lane. Stopped. For no particular reason at all. Without thinking, my hours of Need for Speed and Super Mario Kart had me involun
  • by oskard (715652) on Friday March 16, 2007 @10:22AM (#18374527)
    I often notice many increased sensory abilities that others (family and friends) are just incapable of handling. For example, peripheral vision while driving. Reaction time in sports (frisbees, baseballs, tennis balls, etc). Sound and location of objects based on sound. Lastly is problem solving. Believe it or not, the tactical requirements and logical deductions in a high level of competition can be related to many different puzzles (just like in chess).
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      I got on a backhoe once for about an hour. I was productive after maybe five minutes. Turns out that video gaming on a dual shock (esp. playing Grand Theft Auto where you have to constantly be manipulating the view because the camera is shit) is great training for manipulating two joysticks to move around a hydraulic arm with a bucket on the end.
    • by Brunellus (875635)

      Your friends and loved ones are likewise "incapable of handling" the grace, humility, and poise that gaming seems to have given you.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday March 16, 2007 @01:58PM (#18377907) Journal
      Not to mention all the other RL skill that CS taught me.

      For example, before my CS days I never used to always strafe (side-step) in front of doors. CS taught me that. I don't have to tell you how useful that is, in case there's something camping with an AWP in the boss's office. My co-workers may look funny at me, but I know I'll have the last laugh when they get headshot for just walking in front of a door without looking.

      Always stop and listen before going through any door. Sound is your friend. You can know whether someone's coming around a corner by their footsteps long before you actually have line of sight on them. So always, I repeat, always, stop and listen for 10 seconds or so before barging through any door or around any corner. Sure, the people behind you in the elevator or subway may get impatient, but you're really saving their non-gamer arses. Without you, they could walk right into an ambush.

      Then there's crouching in dark corners. Invaluable skill that. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with crouching in some dark corner or on the roof. Sure, your neighbours and co-workers may look funny when they see you huddled between the dumpster and the hedge, but the laugh is on them if the terrorists ever decide to use your office or block as a map.

      Spatial orientation. Only loser looking to be headshot use the front door. Surprise your boss today by climbing up the fire escape and through a vent. Then spend half the day jumping up and down in front of the vent, to see if some enemy's coming through it. It's a repetitive job, but someone has to do it. If noone does, the terrorists win.

      Oh, and always explore and memorize all possible escape routes. Your life will depend on it later. Sometimes after the next paragraph.

      Then there are the social skills. An online game is a perfect training ground for your polite interaction with fellow humans. Don't laugh, it's like a virtual party. You just mingle and call everyone a "camping faggot" or, as the case may be, a "cheater". Be sure to tell them how good their mother was in bed too. People are insecure about that kind of thing, and it's polite to put their doubts to rest about their relatives' sexual abilities. (Hey, one million CS players can't all be wrong.) And be sure to tell every woman that she's probably a 40 year old fat male wanker. Works like a charm as an ice breaker.

      Creative use of hostages. Those guys aren't there just to get stuck in doors and behind fallen twigs. Did you know you can jump on a hostage's head to climb on a balcony? Erm... actually scratch that. I'm still trying to live down _that_ silly lawsuit.
    • Believe it or not, the tactical requirements and logical deductions in a high level of competition can be related to many different puzzles (just like in chess).

      I choose not to believe it -unless of course you have some evidence? Right -didn't think so. This oft repeated "chess skills are widely applicable" line is pure bullocks, and I imagine the same goes for "tactical requirements and logical deductions in a high level of competition". While I have not come across any studies indicating that chess sk
  • Tetris? Sedate? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Friday March 16, 2007 @10:35AM (#18374697) Homepage Journal
    These people are obviously not the masters of our russian past-time.
  • Tetris benefits (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday March 16, 2007 @10:47AM (#18374879)
    Improvements from playing Tetris include the ability to jockey for the best position at the next red light.
  • This particular bit reminded me of a letter I read in the old Nintendo Power magazine where the writer told his story about being legally blind. His grandmother bought him an NES for Christmas one year and he decided to try playing it. At first he saw mostly rough shapes, but as time passed, he was able to see a little more, and a little more. After a year or so of exercising his eyes he had gotten them into good enough shape where he was no longer legally blind while wearing (very strong) glasses.
    • wtf (Score:2, Funny)

      by Lurker2288 (995635)
      That's cool, and obviously the end result was pretty great for him. But what kind of bitch grandma gives her BLIND grandson a video game system for Christmas? What did he get for his birthday, a telescope?

fortune: cannot execute. Out of cookies.