Computer Games

Computer Games; Playing computer games could help improve people’s peripheral vision, new research reveals. Researchers have found a significant improvement in the peripheral awareness of people who play computer games specially designed around using peripheral vision. This finding opens up the possibility that these types of games; which can be use to help improve players performance in team sports; so they can spot team-mates quicker or to help them to identify potential hazards at the side of their vision.

Computer games awareness

Researchers at Lancaster University’s School of Computing; also Communications were keen to explore how players’ peripheral vision might be use within computer games and if playing games could help to improve a players’ peripheral awareness. Most computer games involve looking directly at targets, or following the movement of characters, because that is the most natural and intuitive way we use our eyes,” said Mr Ramirez Gomez.

We want to explore the opposite is it possible to play games; so just by using our peripheral vision; is it possible to develop strategies to overcome the challenge; so would it be engaging and fun and could these games improve our peripheral awareness?” They create three games which are base on popular culture; so mythology such as the stories of Medusa and Cyclops.

The Medusa game, for example, involve having Medusa dig up mushrooms in her garden; so while avoiding looking directly at the mushrooms otherwise they would turn into stone. The suite of games, collectively called SuperVision; hence require players to use a mouse to select, or steer, objects within the game using their peripheral vision. Eye-trackers check for when players look directly at objects; so within the game and players are penalised accordingly.

Peripheral visual capabilities

Players struggle at first as they attempt to control and resist their instinctive impulse to look,” said Argenis Ramirez Gomez, Ph.D. student and researcher at Lancaster University. The games go against our natural behaviour. The players know they can’t look but having to make decisions; also interact with objects in the games forces players to lose control; so over their instincts and so they indulge their desire to look directly at the objects, failing in the game.

Mr Ramirez Gomez said: They evaluate the participants’ peripheral visual capabilities before and after the games to test for skills development. We found a significant improvement in object recognition in the participants’ peripheral vision after playing the games. Even just one gaming session result in improvements in the players’ peripheral awareness.

The study continue over two weeks and the participants continue to show improvements in their peripheral vision throughout the duration of the research. The participants did not play the games over the weekends during the study. This create a gap of three days between playing the games and researchers taking a measurement of the players’ peripheral vision. There was no noticeable decline in performance over this gap, suggesting improvements in peripheral vision can be lasting, at least in the short-term.