Published in Research

Video games may have a surprising visual benefit

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2 min read

A study recently published in Optometry and Vision Science evaluated the dynamic visual acuity (DVA) of young adults playing action-based video games, those playing non-action video games, and those without regular experience in video game play.

Talk about the study.

In this cross-sectional study, a research team evaluated the DVA between action video game and nonaction video game players.

They also compared the DVA of action video game players to less experienced video game players and participants who spent less than 1 hour/week gaming.

What were the patient criteria?

Investigators included 47 participants between the ages of 20 and 30 years in the initial analysis and 33 participants in the second analysis that compared action video games players to nonexperienced video game players.

How did they measure DVA?

DVA is usually tested using either a dynamic-object DVA or static-object DVA model. In the former, patients’ heads are fixed in place while they report the location of a small gap in a moving Landolt-C ring, and the movement of the ring is measured in angular velocity (°/s)

For static-object DVA testing, typically, patients rotate their heads while reading stationary letters or numbers from a visual acuity chart.

In this study, the DVA was assessed with two different angular velocities (57°/s and 28.5°/s) and three different contrasts (100%, 50%, and 10%).


In the first analysis, DVA had a nonstatistical significance between groups in all the experimental conditions.

The second analysis revealed a statistical significance in DVA at 57°/s and 28.5°/s with contrast at 100% (P=0.003 and P<0.001, respectively).

Take home.

Based on the data, the researchers concluded that young adults who spend more than 5 hours/week playing action video games—especially first-person shooter games—tend to have a better DVA performance than those who play nonaction video games or spend less than 1 hour/week gaming.