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Real-World Uses of Video Game Training

Since computer games make very broad changes to basic computing capacities, researchers have sought to use these games for realistic purposes. This is true of the retraining of people with amblyopia (colloquially known as “lazy eye”).

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Amblyopia usually arises from vision disorders in early infancy—for example, from strabismus (where both eyes are not correctly aligned) or childhood cataracts (where the lens of an eye becomes cloudy). Since the brain expects two eyes to have mutually compatible knowledge, when one eye does not, the brain learns to “do not know” the feedback from the wrong eye.


Critical, ophthalmologists usually believe this mechanism to be largely permanent at a critical stage throughout childhood (Li et al. 2011). As action video game play proved to be effective in enhancing vision in naturally sighted adults, Li and colleagues studied the same form of instruction in adults with amblyopia. The researchers advised patients (who had a weak eye at the pre-test) to play either an action game or a control game for forty hours with just a bad eye.