Gunnar Optiks first grabbed my attention when I saw a pro player for Call of Duty playing with a set at a lan tournament back in 2011. Since then I have always been curious to see whether or not this product would be able to add to my gaming experience with regard to competitive as well as general play.
For the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to test out the Intercept model of Gunnar Optiks, and finally that thirst of curiosity has now been quenched and I am ready to give you some feedback on the experience of the review of Gunnar’s advanced computer eyewear.
Look and Feel
The frame design is rather large and retro styled. The large shape allows for wide format lenses that allow for greater field of view. The glasses come in only one colour and that is the black ‘Onyx’. This is definitely a good looking pare of specs, so much so that I would even consider buying them on their shape alone if browsing on the web. That being said, the glasses looked better on a table than on my face, they unfortunately just didn’t complement one another, as a narrow face and a wide frame usually don’t match.. So the lesson is, as with all glasses, try before buy people!
The initial hours of wearing the glasses were relatively comfortable; I hardly noticed them on, up until I placed my headset on (currently I am wearing a traditional shaped ‘headband’ headset that has ear cushions on either side). The headset and the temple of the glasses were a horrible match. The rigid and thick shape of the glasses combined with the pressure of the headset caused a cutting feel into the top of my ear. I’m sure that there are frames in the Gunnar range that will prevent that feeling but unfortunately the Intercept model is all I had to work with.
One of the first things that you will notice when putting on the glasses is the yellow tinted lenses. The tint is aimed to reduce the amount of strain placed on your eyes when looking at monitors for an extended period of time. Initially I didn’t see the point but after the first day of use, I could notice the difference as the tint does help with contrast and colour enhancement. After a couple of days of use, I found that the difference between normal vision and ‘Gunnar vision’ seemed to stack up more noticeably with each passing day, as I now find the white screen (without Gunnars) almost unbearable.
Now here is where I think a ton of people get confused about Gunnars, there seems to be an assumption that the glasses will directly make you a better gamer. That unfortunately isn’t true, however it does allow for longer gaming sessions. I found my eyes were taking less strain over long stretches of playing games like Call of Duty, Fifa, and GTA V. This meant that essentially I was getting more practice in than I would traditionally be getting if I didn’t have the glasses on, as I most likely would of stopped playing sooner had I not been wearing the glasses.
The glasses definitely haven’t made me a better player in the past two weeks but they have at least made my eyes feel like they have taken less of a beating. I personally wear contact lenses most of the time, as I jump between physical activity and sitting down in front of a screen pretty often. When playing with contact lenses in for extended periods of time, my eyes would quickly get dry and then red. Since I have been wearing the Gunnar glasses, my eyes have definitely been able to last longer without aforementioned annoyance. I must still state that, yes my eyes take less strain with the glasses on, but it doesn't entirely cancel it out. After extremely lengthy periods in front of a monitor my eyes will still become fatigued and painful, even with the glasses on.
Gunnars certainly make a difference, but that difference will change dramatically depending on your personal preferences, circumstances and current state of your eyes. I feel like the Gunnar glasses are a safe guard, if anything, to keep your eyes healthy and less fatigued from extended periods in front of a screen. I never thought I would really need a pair since my problems with my eyes are less severe than warranting the purchase. My opinion since then has changed. Where I was blissfully ignorant to the glare of the monitor and potential damage my eyes were taking, I now can see the difference.
I wont buy these glasses to be a better gamer. Rather I will be picking up a pair because I want to save these two round balls for the future.....
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd