Can Playing Violent Video Games Improve Vision?
March 7, 2012
At the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Daphne Maurer and her team recently shared the results of research showing that adult patients who were born with a rare eye disorder improved their vision later in life after playing “Medal of Honor,” a World War II-themed video game that involves shooting enemies on a battlefield.
The participants in the study had been born with a rare cataract disorder in both eyes that required surgery and corrective contacts. All were deprived of normal vision as infants between three and 10 months. As these children grew to adults, their vision improved but never reached 20/20, and they showed some deficits in face perception, sharpness, direction of motion, peripheral and binocular vision.
In the study, six patients between the ages of 19 and 31 were tracked for a period of one month, in which they played the Electronic Arts (EA) videogame “Medal of Honor” for no more than two hours a day, five days a week. Five of the six showed improvement in their vision, each moving closer to 20/20 from baseline ranges of 20/32 to 20/100, with improved ability to recognize faces, see small print and judge the direction of moving dots.
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