There's no shortage of products out there designed to help players get the most out of their games. There are ergonomic controllers with extra buttons, wireless headphones with incredible 3d audio, gaming chairs with built-in back support, and many, many more tools designed to improve comfort and performance while you game. Many of the gaming devices we've covered here can be considered the best of the best in their category, and must-haves for anyone looking to invest in their gaming experience. In all my experience covering tech though, there's no product that I would consider more foundationally essential to gamers than the blue light filtering glasses from Gunnar.
If you wear glasses it's likely you have some degree of blue light protection on your lenses already. The harmful effects of artificial blue light from screens is well documented and known to cause digital eye strain syndrome- a condition marked by blurry vision, head aches, and dry, irritated eyes. Over-exposure to artificial blue light can cause permanent damage to your eyes and we as players are at much higher risk simply because we spend so much time staring at screens. You need to do something to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of artificial blue light.
An Optician For Gamers
Gunnar has created a powerful line of defense in its catalog of blue light blocking glasses. They have over 60 different frames available in both prescription and non-prescription and in a huge variety of colors and styles. Most can be tried on virtually by uploading a photo to see how you'll look in them. I chose the Vaypers because they have a similar rectangular cut to my normal glasses.
Unlike my normal glasses, the Vaypers are very obviously designed for gaming. As soon as I put them on I noticed how close they sit to face. This is to restrict the air flow around your eyes that dries them out, but it also helps support the ultra-wide lenses to give you full coverage of your vision including your peripherals. These glasses feel like they disappeared on my face almost immediately after putting them on. The flat arms make wearing headphones more comfortable because they don't dig into my temples.
As far as the yellow tint goes, it really does just fade away after awhile. I was concerned about the losing the color in my games but the amber tint has barely any effect on how I perceive the value of different colors and, frankly, becomes unnoticeable over time. The benefit is that my eyes are so much more relaxed, they don't dry out and become itchy every day like they used to, and I'm having an easier time going to sleep at night.
I've been wearing the Gunnar Vayper glasses while I work and game for the last couple weeks and have enjoyed not just the reduced eyestrain but the peace of mind knowing I'm doing everything I can to protect my vision. There's a lot of great games coming out the rest of my life, and I intend to play them all.
Definitely Not Just For Gamers, Either
There's a lot of really awesome designs to entice gamers, including the Game Grumps Enigma frames and the 6-Siege Intercept frames for Rainbow 6: Siege fans, but there are also just so many different styles that will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike.
A lot of people engage with screens for most of their waking ours. Whether you work on a computer, use your phone to unwind at night, or watch a lot of Disney+, you can definitely get the benefits of wearing Gunnar glasses. There are a lot of designs that don't present as "gamer-y" at all, and because Gunnar offers clear, amber, sun, and max amber tints for sensitive eyes, there is a style of frames for everyone and for every situation.
Don't Mess Around With Your Vision!
On a typical day, I wake up and immediately reach for my phone to check my emails. Even before I fully open my eyes or use the bathroom and start responding to important emails and looking at my schedule for the day. Then I get on a computer and start working. Sometimes I take a break and watch Twitch, but I'm still looking at a screen. When I'm done for the day, I log onto Destiny 2 with my friends and start grinding. When I got to bed, I surf Twitter until I fall asleep.
There's very few moments throughout the day that I'm not engaging with a screen, and I know I'm not alone. I am lucky enough not to suffer from the headaches and blurred vision associated with digital eyestrain syndrome, but never-the-less I'm fully aware of the permanent damage I've been doing to my eyes over the years. Gunnar glasses have given me peace of mind that I'm doing what I can to protect my vision when I play.
A sample of the Gunnar Vaypers were provided to TheGamer for this review. You can see all of Gunnar's available frames on their website, where you can also do a virtual try on using a photo. Gunnar is running a black friday sale through the weekend using code BLACKOUT99 so it's a great time to find the pair that's right for you.