While they may be called video 'games', the health problems gaming can lead into are no playful matter. Ironically many of these have gained nicknames from Nintendo products such as Nintendinitis or acute Wiiitis. With more and more players facing injuries from playing competitive video games it seems like the time is now to help educate players on how to keep their bodies healthy and in working order. Health Spotlight articles aim to do just that. Each article we will cover an aspect of gaming health and give helpful tips and tricks to keep readers gaming long and healthy. This week the theme is:
A player that has blurred vision, severe eye pain, or light sensitivity will find playing incredibly difficult Without healthy eyes life as a competitive gamer is extremely difficult. There are amazing inspirational stories like Rattlehead, a blind gamer who was able to reach the finals of his Mortal Kombat pool at Evo 2014 and previous was shown on stream at Evo 2013, but for the most part the eyes are the gateway to the gaming experience.
Unfortunately by playing games we put a lot of extra stress on our eyes. If you game for over two consecutive hours looking at a screen you are among those with the greatest risk for developing CVS: Computer Vision Syndrome. This can cause permanent vision damage and eye pain which will certainly affect gaming performance as well as life outside of gaming. Some of its most common symptoms are:
- Blurred Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Neck and Shoulder PainThe Causes
Several things can lead to CVS. One of the big problems with playing on gaming devices is that digital screens force the eyes to work harder. This is turn makes gamers more susceptible to develop vision related problems. Glare and reflections on screens make viewing more difficult as well as the angle sat at when viewing the screen. The way we view screens places our eyes in different positions than when reading or writing so it demands even more on the visual system.
If a player already has eye problems and they aren't being treated, CVS will become even worse. Those who have glasses or contacts to help with previous issues will do much better but that still is not enough. According to the American Optometrist Association, "Eyeglasses or contact lenses prescribed for general use may not be adequate for computer work." This is because most glasses aren't designed to look at a screen. Special lenses exist to try and help with eye strain and there are frames designed so user won't have to tilt their heads at odd angles to properly see digital media.
Ways To Prevent CVS
Fortunately there are several ways to prevent CVS. If any readers already have vision issues going untreated the first step should be to visit an Optometrist to make sure things like specialized glasses, contacts, or visual therapy are not a necessity. To help reduce problems for all gamers there are some very simple steps that can be taken. These are taken from the American Optometrist Association and have been adapted to better suite a gaming environment:
- Location of screen - Most people find it more comfortable to view a computer when the eyes are looking downward. Optimally, the screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
- Lighting - Position the computer screen to avoid glare, particularly from overhead lighting or windows. Use blinds or drapes on windows and replace the light bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage.
- Anti-glare screens - If there is no way to minimize glare from light sources, consider using a screen glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
- Seating position - Chairs should be comfortably padded and conform to the body. Chair height should be adjusted so your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair has arms, they should be adjusted to provide arm support while you are playing.
- Rest breaks - To prevent eyestrain, try to rest your eyes when gaming for long periods. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous use. Also, for every 20 minutes of viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.
- Blinking - To minimize your chances of developing dry eye when gaming, make an effort to blink frequently. Blinking keeps the front surface of your eye moist.Gamer Glasses
TSM | ZeRo Wearing Gunnar Optiks Glasses
Another way to help reduce eye stress while gaming is to use specially designed gaming glasses. These glasses as designed to help reduce eye stress by filtering out harsh blue lights from screens, reducing glare and reflective light, and more. The science is there to back up these glasses work as well and they can be a serious benefit to gamers playing. Just remember these are not a substitute for actual prescription eye products from an Optometrist, only a helpful supplement. For players who do spend over two hours playing continuously in front of a screen glasses like these could be helpful.
Hopefully these tips will help readers keep their eyes healthy and avoid CVS. We would like to do our own part in aiding reader's gaming health as well and are proud to announce a special giveaway! We will be giving away one pair of 'Wraith' glasses courtesy of NoScope to one lucky reader. Entering helps support some of the writers and staff on Squidboards and our sister site Smashboards so be sure to sign up!
The information contained in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.
Squidboards now has its own Discord server!
Welcome to SquidBoards, the largest forum dedicated to Splatoon! Over 15,000 Splatoon fans from around the world have come to discuss this fantastic game with over 150,000 posts!
You are currently viewing our boards as a visitor. Click here to sign up right now and start on your path in the Splatoon community!
As of June 3rd you will no longer be able to log in to Squidboards using your Smashboards account. Please take a look at the announcement for additional details
Health Spotlight: CVS (With A Giveaway!)