There was a time when wearing glasses wasn’t cool. But nowadays, glasses are the way to go - especially if you're a gamer.
About 183 million Americans play online games for at least an hour a day, according to author and game designer Jane McGonigal. The average young person will put in 10,000 hours of gaming by their 21st birthday. That's a lot of time spent staring at a screen.
As a result, the eyeglass industry has tapped into this market, focused on finding the right bifocals to fix the problems specific to gamers. These gaming glasses promise to minimize eye strain, increase focus and improve endurance with their own unique style and vision.
So do these brands deliver on their promises? Well, that’s tough to say. While some reviewers question the physical and biological benefits, others have given the glasses decent reviews. But if you do spend a lot of time at a desk or on the couch, consider these spectacles an accessible solution.
Gunnar Optiks RPG, $99
Sold at: Best Buy
Gunnar’s newest style of glasses are called RPG, for Rocket Propelled Gaming. The massive dual rail frame makes the spectacles especially tough, yet light - even with the magnesium-aluminum coating. The RPG’s frame comes in gunmetal with black earpieces and traditional amber-colored lenses.
Gunnar Optiks Stylus, $189
Sold at: gunnars.com
The Stylus could be Gunnar’s premier computer eyewear - it certainly is its most expensive. Frameless lenses and thin polymeric-skinned temples create a stylish, low-mass pair of glasses designed to endure extended sessions of staring at a screen. Available in bronze and satin.
ClearOptix Wayfarer, $29.95
Sold at: Best Buy
ClearOptix, a Newbie Gaming product, features less expensive gaming glasses with promises of producing the same enhanced performance. The key to getting these results relies on the Tri-Acetate Cellulose amber lenses, which provide UV protection and contain a low-haze value. ClearOptix also offers its gaming glasses in Aviator style.
Gamer’s Edge GE400C, $32.99
Sold at: amazon.com
This piece of gaming gear from Vision Concepts dons its formulated, UV-safe iEdge lenses to help gamers see higher contrasts and reduce eye fatigue. The glasses weigh in at 0.5 pounds and have thick plastic frames colored in camouflage.