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HomeminewsAthletes vs E-Gamer Visual Skills Tested

Athletes vs E-Gamer Visual Skills Tested

Athletes involved in sports with a high-level of movement – like soccer and football – have more dynamic visual skills than video gamers, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

While visual acuity is most often measured under static conditions during annual check-ups with an optometrist, research shows that testing dynamic visual acuity is a more effective measure of a person’s ability to see moving objects clearly – a baseline skill necessary for success in physical and e-sports alike.

Using a dynamic visual acuity skills test designed and validated at the University of Waterloo, researchers discovered that while physical athletes score highly on dynamic visual acuity tests as expected, action video game players tested closer to non-athletes.

“Ultimately, athletes showed a stronger ability to identify smaller moving targets, which suggests visual processing differences exist between them and our video game players,” said Alan Yee, a PhD candidate in vision science. All participants were matched based on their level of static visual acuity and refractive error, distinguishing dynamic visual acuity as the varying factor on their test performance.

These findings are also important for sports vision training centres that have been exploring the idea of developing video game-based training programs to help athletes elevate their performance. The researchers concluded that there is still a benefit to training in a 3D environment. The broader visual field and depth perception that come with physical training may be crucial to improving dynamic visual acuity, and ultimately, sport performance.


Yee A, Thompson B, Irving E, Dalton K. Athletes Demonstrate Superior Dynamic Visual Acuity. Optom Vis Sci. 2021 Jul 1;98(7):777-782. doi: 10.1097/ OPX.0000000000001734. PMID: 34267082.