• Question: Can playing xbox for an excessive number of hours really make you eyes go \'square\'? Or can it do me any damage seems a more realistic question?

    Asked by jarsden to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 13 Jun 2010:

      Your eyes will not go square.

      However, they will probably get very tired after many hours of game play. I’m not much of a gamer myself (if fact, I’m useless), but on days when I spend a lot of time in front of the computer I do notice my eyes feeling the strain. I believe you’re supposed to take 5 min breaks every hour to rest the eyes. Not sure why it happens but perhaps the eye muscles get tired if they are focused at the same distance for long periods.

      May be better if you play with your eyes closed…

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 13 Jun 2010:

      Playing videogames can have negative health effects including bringing about seizures in some sensitive people (due to the rapidly changing imagery), and some other problems such as repetitive strain injury and obesity which relate to the physical requirements of gaming (i.e. sitting still in the dark, mashing buttons till the early hours of the morning). I think limiting your gaming hours is a sensible precaution, and (this is only from my own experience) I would recommend getting outside once in a while to allow your eyes to focus on more distant objects.

      I am not a medical doctor or an expert in the science/medical effects of videogames (although I do use videogames in my research, and I have also spent many hours playing them over the years). In answering this question I referred to an article in the British Medical Journal (http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/331/7509/122) that I found by googling “video game health risks”.

      BTW in the lab we occasionally find people get “travel sickness”, too – this is purely anecdotal, but if you are affected you should stop immediately, especially if you are lying in a multimillion pound brain scanner!

    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Well my feeling is that moderation in everything is a good idea. The problem is that screen stuff is REALLY easy to sit in front of for hours, especially games, because it gets and holds your attention really easily. there’s a famous study with kids with ADHD who can never sit still in lessons or concentrate on anything who get incredibly absorbed in super mario and sit there for hours on end. I googled up the following quote from a doctor from teh States
      “Dr. G. John Lach, president of the MOA and an optometrist with Carlson-Tillisch, Mankato, Minnesota, says that Computer Vision Syndrome can result from personal computer use for work as well as for video gaming. Constant eye movement and eye refocusing often strains the eye muscles. According to Dr. Lach, CVS may involve eye irritation, dry eyes, headaches, pain in the eyes or surrounding facial muscles, squinting, excessive blinking, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing.”
      My 14 year old thinks I’m really irritating when I tell her to get off facebook and get a real life in the sun, but i think I’m right really (but still a pain)

    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      My mum told me when I was little that watching too much TV would give me square eyes and I totally believed her and still do lol!