Dynamic visual acuity may be better among individuals who play fast-paced video games more than 5 hours per week that require a need to distribute attention across the peripheral visual field (action gamers) compared with those who play slower paced games (non action gamers) or engage in gaming less than 1 hour per week (non gamers), according to a study published in Optometry and Vision Science.

Researchers performed a 2-part, cross-sectional study to compare dynamic visual acuity among action gamers, non action gamers, and non gamers. After performing these measurements with 2 different angular velocities (57 degrees per second and 28.5 degrees per second) and 3 different contrast levels (100%, 50%, and 10%), the team stratified participants into their respective groups based on their responses to the Bavelier lab videogame questionnaire.

Part 1 of the investigation involved comparisons between 47 participants (mean age, 20.68 years; 51.1% women) assigned to the action gamer (n=22) and non action gamer (n=25) groups. The second part of the investigation involved comparisons between 33 participants (mean age, 20.81 years; 51.5% women) who were gamers (n=16) vs non gamers (n=17).

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An analysis of part 1 revealed no statistically significant differences between action gamers and non action gamers for all experimental conditions (P ≥.169 for all). However, part 2 of the investigation revealed statistically significant differences at 57 degrees per second and 28.5 degrees per second with 100% contrast (P =.003 and P <.001, respectively) between action gamers and non gamers.

The researchers acknowledge that among the action games that can be used to improve dynamic visual acuity, “frequently playing first-person shooter games may improve dynamic visual acuity more than with other videogames.”

Study limitations include a small sample size, single center design, and the use of subjective measures to determine what constitutes an action vs non action game.


Argilés M, Erickson G, Quevedo-Junyent L. Regularly playing first-person shooter videogames improves dynamic visual acuityOptom Vis Sci. Published online May 22, 2023. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000002030

This article originally appeared on Optometry Advisor