By Nachiket Mhatre, Tech2.in.com
Of all the gadgets and gear on my desktop, the monitor happens to be the most expensive piece of equipment, which is followed by the graphics card and spectacles. Yes, you heard it right—spectacles. Just like the monitor and graphics card, they are equally crucial to witness every god ray, explosion and arterial blood spray just like the good developer intended. Mind you, I don’t place emphasis on good quality eyewear just because I need one for perfect eyesight. A good number of my acquaintances are blessed with 20/20 vision, but that doesn’t stop them from using computer glasses treated with anti-glare and anti-reflective coatings.
In fact, that’s a good call considering how your average white-collar worker spends a good chunk of his waking hours staring into a glorified tube light, otherwise known as the PC monitor. White-collar gamers have it even worse, as they spend even more time looking at CCFL/LED-backlit displays, fragging each other after work. I belong to this category, especially since I end up playing games at work and home as well. For the longest time, spending a small fortune on imported spectacle lenses and specialised lens treatments was the only viable means to protect my eyes.
However, when just an extra hour of gaming before bed time snowballs into a six-hour gaming marathon with an alarming regularity, that’s your cue to seek a better solution to protect your eyes. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because GUNNAR Optiks has now reached the Indian stores with its range of specialised gaming and computer eyewear. I have, in fact, heard a lot of positive feedback from Indian professional gamers who swear by the GUNNAR’s ability to provide long, strain-free hours of gaming. I was, however, circumspect for two main reasons:
- All the pro gamers I had spoken to received their gaming eyewear from GUNNAR. For free.
- Much of their marketing strategy relies on using fancy brand names for proprietary technology that’s more or less similar to existing industry practices.
With GUNNAR’s gaming eyewear starting at Rs 4,500 and the prescription (Rx) versions costing Rs 12,000 and upwards, the brand must offer much more than impressive sounding gimmicks. If you listen to its marketing spiel though, the gaming eyewear range promises to prevent eye strain, reduce reaction times and generally offer a two-fold benefit of protection as well as performance. The best way to test this claim is through a long-term test of the flagship Call of Duty MW3 model, and that’s exactly what I did.