Violent Video Games Can Improve Vision

A new study that was fundedby the National Eye Institute and the Office of Naval Research published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows that 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. This is particularly significant because before now, the only proven way of improving this sort of eyesight was thought to be by using glasses or laser surgery.

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.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that contrast sensitivity can be improved by simple training,” says Bavelier. “When people play action games, they’re changing the brain’s pathway responsible for visual processing. These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it, and we’ve seen the positive effect remains even two years after the training was over.”

So now I have more justification to play video games \o/

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