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Changes in visual function following the use of a virtual reality video game

1 May 1997


The purpose of this study was to explore changes in visual performance following the use of a virtual reality video game: the Nintendo Virtual Boy. Twenty-nine children (ages 9-14, mean age 11) underwent a visual testing battery before and after 30 minutes of play on the Nintendo Virtual Boy System. Simple t-tests showed an increase in accommodative and vergence facilities when comparing pre to post-play likely due to practice effects. Normative analysis displayed a trend of phoria shifts correlating to a decrease in compensating vergence ranges. Factor analysis reveals that some individuals are prone to undesirable short or long term visual changes. Subjects who are likely to experience changes are those with decreased ability to sustain accommodation, those who visually adapt to nearpoint stress, and those who spend excessive amounts of time using the virtual display.


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