Yet Another Study Says First Person Shooters Are Good For Your Eyesight

from the tell-your-mother dept

Over in the Insider Chat, Leigh recently taught us that it's a myth that carrots improve your eyesight... but if your mother tries to pass that off on you as a reason to eat carrots, perhaps you should tell her you're better off getting in a bit more time playing the latest first person shooter, instead (not that you shouldn't eat carrots, they're delicious, but they won't help your eyesight). However, it seems that researchers keep showing that first person shooters really are good for your eyesight. The latest, as sent over by Rob Hyndman is about a study done up in Canada showing eyesight improvement for people playing Medal of Honor.
Participants were all born with cataracts that were removed — but because of their condition, their vision never developed to 20/20. Six of the seven were not gamers.

They played the game for 10 hours straight in a controlled environment, and then two hours a day only until they reached 40 hours of play.

"We brought them back four weeks later and they all had improved vision," Lewis said.
10 hours straight seems excessive...

That said, this is hardly new. We first noted a study like this nearly a decade ago. Then again five years ago. And, for good measure, three years ago. Whether or not the improved eyesight cancels out the urge to kill (rising) that such video games also provide is left to future research to determine (and because people are humor impaired: that's a joke).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    PopeyeLePoteaux, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:25am

    Hehe, well I have been playing first person shooters since I was like 8 years old, Hover Tank 3D, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom the first FPS games I played, and then Quake, Turok, Unreal and so on when I was a teenager, and my eyesight is still pretty bad. XD :C

     

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  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:30am

    "Leigh recently taught us"

    Marcus doesn't teach us much, except that he is silly. He may have basically reposted someone else's work, but he certainly didn't teach us anything.

    First person shooters also have issues that people often forget to blink, causing dry eyes and headaches. We won't even talk about motion sickness.

     

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  3.  
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    Chargone (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    on the subject of carrots:
    the thing about them improving your eye-sight is overly successful allied propaganda in ww2 (to cover the use of radar, i believe?) about why their pilots were so good at finding German bombers.

    that said, apparently there Are nutrients in carrots that your body needs to Maintain your eyesight. (this is from memory, mind you) so they are Good for your eyes (and eye-sight) they just don't particularly make it Better.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:04am

    Re:

    Was about to post this but ninja'd. Yeah, it stems from the Brits (when we were still cool) wanting to cover up the use of their advanced radar systems (called AI, Airborne Interception Radar). They attributed the increased bomber kill-count to eating lots of carrots because they help you see better.

    And yep on the nutrients thing, apparently Vitamin A is good for eyesight, which carrots contain. Not a good plan to overdose on carrot to try and improve vision though, you'd need to eat so many of the things you'd turn orange.

     

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  5.  
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    Beech, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:13am

    Lies!

    Leave it to Mike "pants on fire" masnick to once again post his opinions as irrefutable fact! I happen to know, for a fact, from first hand experience, that carrots are yucky! I think it is time for both Mike and my mommy to come out and admit that they're in the pockets of Big Vegetable.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:14am

    Re:

    Yep it was RAF (Royal Air Force) in the UK who put out this misinformation, not really propaganda, about the special diet that allowed their pilots to hit their targets in the dark.

    Hence why carrots are good for your night vision as well.

    Carrots are healthy for you and contain vitamin A, β-carotene from carrots is converted to vitamin A in your body, required to maintain your eyesight but vitamin A occurs in a load of different things already so you don't necessarily need to eat carrots for your vitamin A quota.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re:

    Looks like I as ninja'd when I was reading wikipedia for vitamin A sources :)

     

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  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    Re:

    You forgot to criticize his musical career.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    Re:

    So teachers don't teach anything?

    They reuse others work for their non-teaching all the time.

     

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  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:27am

    Re: Lies!

    *slow clapping*

    I honestly laughed on this one. Bravo!

     

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  11.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    I personally didn't like FPS games before I played one on Wii. It's particularly fun because it's easier to aim! I shall develop this habit to keep my eyesight in good shape. Thanks for the tip!

     

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  12.  
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    abc gum, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re:

    Obviously teachers are damned bloody pirates and need to be keelhauled, or at least made to pay thousands for each infraction.

     

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  13.  
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    Mr Big Content, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    Why play shooting games? Why not shoot REAL guns? If playing the game does such wonders for their eyesight, shooting the real thing should work even better!

    Ever notice you never see a combat vet wearing glasses? QED!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    On a completely unrelated note, Black mesa source mod for hl2 is being released in a couple of days. Also green lit by steam. It is a remake of the first halflife. Very exciting.

     

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  15.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    didnt like them either until i picked up my kids MW2 one day out of sheer boredom.

    he is now a bit upset that i wipe the floor with him on a regular basis

     

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  16.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    If you are 3D deprived, the real thing isn't going to help you. At 3 metres, I couldn't hit a rubbish tin lid up against a tree firing off a .22, in 2D simulations I can hit the distant objects.

    Without my glasses having corrective prisms to enable some 3D vision, I live in a world of 2D (no depth to anything). I still have to focus on an object at different distances. It is so much easier to hit something in simulation because computer screens are inherently 2D.

    As an aside, the last study I saw on the effects of FPS was not an increase in violence in the individuals but a decrease in sympathy and empathy in those individuals for others.

    The major problem with any kind of study into the effects of FPS's is that most if not all such studies have particular agendas to push and as such the studies don't look at the overall effects on the individuals, their interactions with others and the societal effects resulting.

    For those of us who are old enough, our childhood games would include such things as playing cowboys and indians, soldiers, explorers and adventurers where we would be hunting and fighting off wild beasts and enemies. What has been the societal outcome of these experiences?

    All I can say is that overall, our various societies have become more nanny state and more vicious as the years have passed.

    So whether or not eyesight can be improved by such means as FPS's will, I think, never truly been known.

    regards to all

     

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  17.  
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    Bengie, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Counter Strike

    So those 6-10 hour days for 2-3 days of CS has given my the vision of a hawk. OMG! There's a penny 2 miles from here, I can see it!

     

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  18.  
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    abc gum, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    This must be sarcasm ....

     

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  19.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    I'm not really sure what to think of all this. One thing I can tell is that you have no business near a fire arm. You also seem to have a poor understanding of dimensions.

    You see when you aim a gun you use your dominate eye to look down the sites, there is some debate over closing your other eye but most do. So your looking down the sites or through the scope with your dominate eye.

    Now in order for you to have depth you need both eyes. You mind generates this depth by overlaying the images from both eyes. So really depth perception has pretty much no bearing on your ability to shoot. Knowing the range of the target is important, but not depth perception.

    Sounds like your trouble is just that you can't see without your glasses....

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    "urge to kill (rising)"

    Is this a subtle Simpsons reference ala the Halloween special which parodies The Shining?

    "Urge to kill...fading...fading...fading -- rising! Fading...fading...gone." - Homer

     

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  21. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re:

    His musical career is over. I think he caught on finally.

     

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  22.  
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    gorehound (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:39am

    I must get back to killing Nazis in Sniper 2...............World War 2 Killing spree is calling out to me.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Parental propoganda...

    "Eat your carrots... it'll improve your eyesight for gaming!"

     

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  24.  
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    Colin Davidson (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    Plus, depth perception is only good for about 6 feet. Beyond that, you're essentially seeing 2-D anyway.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    10 hours straight seems excessive...

    Huh? Excessively short?

     

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  26.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Huh? Excessively short?

    I know, right? Old people these days...

     

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  27.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 8:24am

    Violent games

    "Whether or not the improved eyesight cancels out the urge to kill"

    I know you're poking fun at the misinformation against games, but first person shooters don't have to be violent. You can still utilize the same mechanics in such a game that doesn't "kill" anything. Take Portal for example. Or, how about Paintbrawl? Or how about we point out the most violent children's game played in the physical world? "Tag!" anyone?

    It's a game that encourages children to chase down other children and gruesomely violate their personal space by "tagging" them in order to make them "it" for the next round of unmitigated chaos. They are not only being violent, but encouraging other children to take up the mantle of violence that this game fosters. We should be screaming at our legislature to ban this game before it encourages more and more violent behavior!

     

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  28.  
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    Chris Brand (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Great

    I can see the headlines now - "Video Games not only make people more violent - they also make them better shots".

     

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  29.  
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    hfbs (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    I played Medal Of Honour for 10 hours straight.. FOR SCIENCE!

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    Wow Thanks. I finally gave up watching it since they didn't seem to have any updates on the progress in forever.

     

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  31.  
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    Togashi (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    That's why you play them on the computer. No joysticks to worry about, just the wonder of keyboard and mouse gaming.

     

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  32.  
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    Sam Bisby, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Looks like most of my teenage years weren't wasted then! Must be why I'm one of the minority in my family without glasses.

     

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  33.  
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    Old Man in The Sea, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    Thank you for the laugh. It is always fun when discussing this with someone who lives in a fully 3D perception of the world.

    I was taught as a youngster to have both eyes open when using a rifle.

    Secondly, if you don't have the problem you don't understand the difficulties of seeing in 2D as a normal part of life. Much as you might dispute it, it does have an effect on your ability to aim correctly. Much of this is related to the kinesthetic feedback between body and vision in the brain.

    Again thanks for the laugh and enjoy your day.

     

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  34.  
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    Old Man in The Sea, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    When I got my first set of glasses with the corrective prism to allow me to see 3D. I perceived depth for at least a couple of 100 metres. It was one of the most incredible sights I have experienced in terms of depth perception. The corrective prisms I have only correct for about 30% to 40% of what you as a normal sighted person would see.

    regards and enjoy your day.

     

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  35.  
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    monkyyy, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Lies!

    *fast clapping*

    i honestly agree w/ this one

     

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  36.  
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    monkyyy, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Violent games

    tag should be banned, its a game about treating the molested kid as if they had the plague

    /srac

     

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  37.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Re: you'd turn orange.

    Apparently carrots were originally purple. The Dutch bred them into their national colour.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re:

    unteachable?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    I appreciated your first person report. My son has amblyopia, strabismus (both under control) and no depth perception. These are complex phenomena, having as much to do with processing as with muscles or acuity. It is not easy to understand even for the experts; we had to travel to Johns Hopkins to gain a few more planks of understanding. It is not surprising that someone with a newspaper knowledge of 3D vision -- correct as far as it goes -- could be so off-target; the tone of the comment is harder to explain. "Shooting in the dark", so to speak.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If Simulations Are Good, The Real Thing Must Be Even Better

    Probably both you and Colin Davidson are right.

    Even if the depth perception available beyond 6 feet does not affect scorable testing very much, it still conveys 3D information and makes the 3D experience richer. Also I think the cutoff (for scorable testing) must be more than 6 feet, but not 50 feet.

    In addition, there is another important phenomenon: with two eyes, you have better acuity than with either alone -- provided the eyes are pointed the same directon and the brain can integrate the two fields effectively. This improvement is independent of 3D vision.

    I experience it when I close one eye while reading a flat page or a distant sign. In order to make it work, I have to make sure both eyes are focussed and maybe blink to get rid of eyelashes. The same effect occurs when, at the end of a glasses precription test, both eyes are allowed to look through the new lenses together.

    Maybe both of these effects are contributing to your experience, plus individual processing effects that we don't know about. I am glad to read of it.

     

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