We often get review requests in our mail box, one of the most common review requests have been gaming glasses. It seems that quite often, people really want to know if they are worth the investment or simply if they really work. Steelseries sent us both their Scope and Desmo glasses to actually take a look at them and decide if they are a legit item AND if they are something worth investing in. Hell, they are made by the premier company for gaming glasses, Gunnar, so this should be interesting!
The first thing I noticed about the Desmo glasses I received were the really flashy orange highlights on the arms. They really popped and gave the glasses a truly unique look. I tried these first because the large lenses look like they would fit my big head better than the smaller, slimmer pair. While I could wear the glasses, the nose bridge as a little uncomfortable and didn’t really sit perfectly on my face. If I looked straight at the ground, the glasses would actually move from my face. They just weren’t as snug as I hoped. This was probably due to the fact that the glasses are frameless and the lens is actually held together by a separate piece, so they either fit right or they didn’t. They did seem to fit better on my wife’s face though.
Holy crap. While the Scope glasses looked smaller actually had smaller lenses, these bad boys were easily my favorite. These glasses have a thin black frame with arms that look like they have a carbon fiber coating. Because of the fact that the lenses were separate and the metal nose bridge help them together, they conformed to the contour of my face much better. The fit quite snug on my face and I could look in any direction, move my head rapidly and even run (hey, I had to try) without them risking a fall. Oddly, smudges were way more noticeable on these glasses however.
What do they actually do?
It took a little bit to get used to playing games with a slightly altered perception. The yellow tint makes most light sources turn to a noticeable amber, while the colors of the display or TV do not seem to be effected as much. For a few sessions, I was unsure if I had any difference at all but after an evening of PC play when I wasn’t using the glasses, I noticed something different. I noticed my eyes were significantly more strained and actually a little irritated from staring at the screen. Upon reflection, I realized that this was actually a common occurrence but since I’ve been dealing with it for so long, I just accepted that it was normal. While using the glasses, that strain was significantly reduced and it was much easier to focus on things that were happening as well. It was like Ritalin for your eyes, and yeah, they work pretty good.
There is a catch here though, they worked great at night and in areas like an average lit office. When used in a brighter well-lit room, they seemed to be much more of a hinderance that good. Direct light (like sunlight for example) would catch on the glasses and create quite a bit of glare which understandably made playing more difficult. I switched to the Desmo to see if they had the same issue and it persisted, although it was noticeably less on those glasses.
Here are a couple of notes I made while playing different games:
League of Legends -
- Since colors and motion tended to ‘pop’ more, it seemed easier to spot someone appear on the minimap or from the fog of was than it did before. This helped me avoid ganks and pinpoint enemies faster that I was used to. Map presence went up.
- Playing a bunch of games in succession wasn’t as tiring to the eyes as it had been in the past.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 -
- With it easier to stare at the screen, small movements stood out more than they did normally.
- Red cuts through the yellow glasses really well, alerts for things like mines were easier to spot.
Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm -
- This game really hurts my eyes usually since I tend to spend long periods of time just staring at the display. The glasses helped with that a lot.
- Unfortunately I am still really bad at this game but it was easier to play more games in succession.
- Hud pops a lot better.
- Like Black Ops 2, movements stood out better, helping me sometimes catch enemies before they caught me…
I’d have to say that if you spent a decently large amount of time staring at a screen, some form of these glasses may actually be beneficial to you. I won’t go as far as saying that the glasses actually made me better at anything in particular but it gave me the opportunity to play better. I’d say that gaming glasses may help a player reach their potential by increasing small facets of vision. Think of it as PEDs for video games!
If you spend an extended period of time playing games, especially in the dark, I really do think that these work wonders. While the results will probably vary from user to user, the $99 price tag for either pair of glasses doesn’t actually seem all that bad when compared to other gaming peripherals.