Action games improve visual acuity
As researchers at the University of Rochester have shown, visually challenging computer action games can significantly improve visual acuity after just one month of training.
For their study, Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green only chose students as test subjects who had had little or no contact with video games in the past year. For a month, the test subjects then spent about an hour a day on the computer and exclusively played either "Unreal Tournament", an action-packed computer game, or the skill game "Tetris". In contrast to Tetris, which is not visually demanding, the action game requires a high level of visual attention, even to small image details. The visual acuity of the test subjects was checked before and after the experiment using an eye test similar to the letter charts used by an ophthalmologist.
While there was no change in Tetris players, action players were able to recognize letters about twenty percent better. This effect was not only evident in the central part of the field of vision, with which the screen is observed, but extended to the periphery, an area that they had not "trained".
As the researchers conclude, action games change the processing of visual stimuli in the brain, for example to recognize objects more quickly. However, whether the improvement in vision is of lasting duration has not been studied.
As early as four years ago, the two scientists presented a similar study in which they showed an improvement in visual attention in computer gamers. (vs)