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Action-based video games can help improve vision

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

A new study has confirmed that action-based video games can help children improve their vision. After 8 hours of brain-training, kid-friendly video games, kids saw a significant improvement in their peripheral vision. 

For the study, researchers looked at 24 children that had central visual acuity worse than 20/200 legal blindness limit. The students were divided into three groups, with each group being shown a different game. The games were all played on a large screen to help with visual periphery. The first group was shown a Tetris-style game. The second group played a kid-friendly action video game, and the other group was shown a training game that was created by the researchers. After 8 hours of training, the groups that were trained with the action video game and the custom-made game by researchers showed marked improvements in their vision. Motion perception in the far periphery were better and they were able to identify specific letters within a group of letters faster. They were also quick to find named objects in cluttered scenes, which showed improvement in visual searching tasks. (1)

 

 

Image credit: University of Rochester/Duje Tadin

 

Video games can be used in wonderful ways. Whether it’s educational video games or brain-training games that help bolster vision, video games truly have great benefits when used in moderation. But when overused, they can have the opposite effect. It can be damaging to vision  (e.g. dry eyes) and most of all, mental health. Studies have shown that internet and gaming addiction can increase the risk of mental health issues including anxiety, inability to focus, depression, and ADHD. If gaming and internet use is not controlled and monitored starting at a young age, it can change the way children and adults process feelings and interact with other people at a basic level. 

 

Video games should never take over your mind or negatively impact the way you or your children handle life or deal with day to day responsibilities.  If you and your children play video games for entertainment or education purposes, set strict guidelines on usage. If you or someone you know is showing signs of technology, pornography, or Internet addiction, seek help immediately and start establishing boundaries. For more information: www.realbattle.org/resources/

  1. University of Rochester. "Brain training video games help low-vision kids see better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130130851.htm>.