I’m sure you’ve seen the Gunnar glasses by now – they promise better gaming performance and all sorts of benefits. When Gavin reviewed them a while back, they were still sporting yellowed lenses. Now, I got the pretty clear ones to test drive, although perhaps I’m just not ready for my “enhanced” “human visual system”.
Like most modern gamers, I spend most of my day in front of a screen. The lenses are designed to give a slight magnification while also sharpening contrast, clarifying objects on the screen and reducing eye strain – perfect for all of us who spend 8 hours+ behind a screen of some description. Plus, the newly designed frames and lenses look way less geeky than previous versions. I mean, look how happy I seem in them (ignore the Geek Fest t-shirt tan):
Unfortunately, these Gunnars do not have the intended effect on me. In fact, they made my eyes tingle and itch for the first hour or so of wearing them. After this initial period, my eyes seemed to get broken in, to the point of having a splitting headache. Magically, as soon as I removed the glasses, the headache would subside. Unwilling to be deterred, I continued to try the Gunnars in various contexts – natural light, unnatural light, day, night, Mac, PC and TV.
I found that the glasses worked best when there was no natural light. So, for a late night gaming session, you can wear these for some slightly clearer visuals. That said, I still got my eye tingling – it actually started to feel like my eyes were vibrating in their sockets. However, the headache took longer to manifest without natural light.
I simply did not see a benefit to using the Gunnars. Perhaps its because my screens are all high quality and already provide fantastic resolution and contrast, or maybe it’s because the experience of having my human visual system enhanced was far too uncomfortable for me. In fact, while initially the screen would look clearer when I put the glasses on, when I took them off again (even if removed before excessive eye tingling and pain) the screen appeared to get clearer and sharper. Very strange.
If you have an older screen, or struggle with eye strain or fatigue, it might be worthwhile to give these a try. Perhaps it’s just all my awesome high-end tech that makes these glasses redundant and painful. Or maybe they are just redundant and painful. At least, they were for me.
Last Updated: September 11, 2013