Improve Eyesight Naturally: Outdoor Video Gaming

In my Improve Eyesight Naturally series, I talk about how sunlight exposure and gaming both offer great benefits for naturally improving eyesight. So then, doing both at the same time would lead to vastly improved eyesight, right?

 

I think so. Here is how to play video games outdoors and improve eyesight naturally.

 

Brief Recap and Intro

Lack of sunlight exposure is considered the number one reason in the scientific community for a much greater instance of nearsightedness among children and young adults today. This makes sense. We live in a mostly indoor culture. And, our ancestors and even people just a few decades ago were outside in the sun more. So, greater sunlight exposure is theorized to improve eyesight.

 

I wrote another blog post about the benefits of video games, one of which is improved eyesight. But to get the most bang for your buck, you need to play first-person shooter multiplayer. This is because first-person shooters are essentially training you to very quickly locate enemy player characters, essentially moving spots on a screen. This is a challenge the improves eyesight long-term because of the grayish backgrounds of the levels and the dull colors of the enemy player characters’ clothes.

 

There are multiple options for outdoor video gaming. All of them require a video game platform to play on, a fast and reliable internet connection, and finding a good location outdoors with enough room for your gaming setup.

 

I’ve written this article with a few assumptions. You:

  • Don’t own any video games, but you have a basic idea of what they are.
  • Don’t own a computer capable of playing video games.
  • Live in a dwelling with wi-fi/internet.
  • Have bad eyesight that you want to try to improve naturally.

 

I realize most of you reading this don’t fit this criteria to a T, and a lot of this will seem like I’m giving a lecture on the Bible to the Pope. But even so, just bear with me, and you’ll probably learn some new and unexpected ways of improving both your eyesight and your gaming experience.

 

For the platform, you can choose PC or console:

I’ll go over each option and compare them to each other.

 

Option 1: PC

This option requires a solid, gaming computer. Now, a decent gaming computer is going to hit your wallet harder than a rhinoceros on cocaine, and this is the biggest drawback of PC gaming. But, here are two things to consider that might make it worthwhile:

 

  • The high-end gaming PC can always be used for non-gaming purposes. Keep in mind that a gaming PC is FAR better in terms of bandwidth, overall performance and user interface than a budget, vanilla PC. Considering the inherent usefulness of a high performing laptop, getting a gaming laptop isn’t such a bad idea. It’ll probably serve as a strong general purpose laptop for many years.

 

  • A modern console like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 costs $250 to $300 brand new. You’re not likely to find very many cheaper used consoles. Used consoles also have the risk of having technical issues that the vendor couldn’t detect. The console can’t do anything else other than playing DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.  You’re also going to need a separate TV or laptop to play the games on, which could cost another $100 at least. So, console gaming could add up to at least $350 to $400 dollars, which is similar to the price of a gaming computer.

 

Honestly, the overall value a gaming computer provides balances out its slightly steeper price range compared with the console option.

 

Laptop Over Desktop

We’re going with a laptop over a desktop.

 

Yes, it’s true that a desktop is universally preferred over a laptop.

 

But for outdoor video gaming, we’ll need laptops that can be easily carried around. It’s just not feasible to carry around an entire desktop station and set yourself up in sunny, outdoor environments like a deck or porch.

 

Mouse and Keyboard vs. Controller

PC games are traditionally played with a mouse and keyboard setup, but controllers are now capable of interfacing with most laptops and PC games. Many gamers find that they prefer a controller over the mouse and keyboard setup, myself included.

 

If you disagree, then you can skip this section. If you feel the same way, the wireless (Amazon) and wired (Amazon) Xbox 360 controllers can be used for gaming on a PC. Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 are already configured to work with them (link).

 

Option 2: Consoles

Consoles include the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as their older counterparts the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I’m excluding the Nintendo consoles because they offer little to no eyesight-improving first-person shooters.

 

This is another great option. Both Xbox 360 and PS3 games can be played on a PC, which excludes the need for a television and allows you to set up shop in various outdoor locations.

 

The PC is essentially acting as a TV, so it can be a regular, vanilla laptop and not a high-end gaming laptop.

 

Most first-person shooters like Battlefield, Call of Duty, Far Cry, etc. can be played on both consoles. The only major console-exclusive titles are Gears of War and Halo, for the Xbox, and the Resistance series, for the PS3. But, these console-exclusive games don’t offer as much eyesight benefits as the games since they tend to have brighter and more visually distinct enemy player characters. So, you can’t go wrong by going with either the Xbox or the PlayStation.

 

Now we get to the Xbox One and PS4. Similarly to their older counterparts, both platforms have most first-person shooters available, such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Overwatch, etc.

 

New is Better Than Old

The new generation consoles (Xbox One and PS4) are preferred over the old generation consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3). There aren’t very many people playing first-person shooter multiplayer on the old-gen consoles, so you’ll end up spending hours to set up a multiplayer match, if you can set one up at all.

 

The new-gen consoles have plenty of people on multiplayer, and you can expect to spend only a few minutes to set up and begin a multiplayer match. This is great since we’re focusing solely on multiplayer.

 

PC vs. Consoles

We’ve established already that both options are very similar in price, especially if you take into consideration all the non-gaming uses a gaming PC offers over consoles. Both platforms actually share a lot of games, and there are very few console-exclusive or PC-exclusive games. None of the platforms have a decisive advantage over the others in terms of available game selection.

 

Most of the things a console can do, a PC can do as well. Both Xbox One and PS4 games can be played on PC with the downloadable Xbox app and the downloadable Remote Play app respectively (PS4 on PC) (Xbox One on PC). Gaming PC’s can usually play DVD and Blu-Ray discs, but always make sure before purchasing.

 

Your choice really comes down to convenience.

 

A PC is far more physically convenient than a console because there isn’t an entirely separate hunk of hardware to lug around with you for outdoor gaming.

 

Everything a console can do, a gaming PC can do as well. The only difference is that the console is much simpler and more convenient. For instance, consoles have social features including live streaming gameplay and media sharing directly built in to them, and can be easily accessed while playing on it. A PC usually requires prior setup for live streaming, and media sharing can’t practically be done right in the middle of gameplay.

 

The only decisive advantage that the console option has over PC is virtual reality.

 

PS4 has the PlayStation VR, which is one of the cheapest consumer virtual reality headsets out there and has a ton of upcoming games for it. And Xbox One is going to launch a virtual reality headset soon. And as far as I know, there aren’t any virtual reality headsets available for PC.

 

While virtual reality is new and interesting, it has no real benefits for outdoor gaming. So after considering everything, the PC option is the superior choice for eyesight-boosting outdoor gaming.

 

Gaming Laptop Recommendations

Now, we want a gaming laptop. The laptop should ideally be around $400-$600 USD (around the same price as the console option). It must also maintain a minimum steady 30 fps (frames per second) frame rate during online multiplayer matches. Here are two options I recommend:

 

Lenovo Legion Y520

(Link coming soon)

The more expensive option at $1000, but also easily the best. In addition to the processing power for gaming, it is known to be the least noisy and is able to maintain a comfortable keyboard temperature during operation. It’s also reasonably sized with a screen 15 inch wide and weighs 5.3 pounds. The only notable downside is that it has a low battery life, which can be easily rectified by plugging the laptop in.

 

Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4

(Link coming soon)

A much more reasonable $580. Can run most games at 1366 x 768 resolution and 30 fps. While it is fast, its storage space is limited and may require a graphics card upgrade or a 7200 rpm external hard drive. Similarly to the Y520, this Acer Aspire has a 15.6 inch-wide screen and weights 5.27 pounds.

 

Fast, Reliable Internet for Gaming

Now, we need to find high speed internet that allows for high-resolution gaming with a steady frame rate that won’t make you want to spike your controller on the ground in volcanic fury over cheap deaths due to lag.

 

Option 1: Wi-Fi

No shit, right? Well, there are a few details to go over about gaming-worthy wi-fi.

 

First, 5 GHz is the recommended wi-fi bandwidth to enable online multiplayer. I disagree.

 

5 GHz may offer greater bandwidth, but it comes at the cost of connectivity. 5 GHz has trouble traveling through walls and solid objects, which means you have to basically sit next to your router with an unobstructed view to get a good connection.

 

This basically defeats the purpose of wi-fi! Get 2.4 GHz. Less connectivity issues. And it turns out that the actual internet speeds between the two are about the same. Here’s another article that goes into greater detail.

 

Second, don’t set the router on the ground. This is a very minor, but surprisingly powerful, factor that can influence wi-fi connectivity.

 

A router sends signals out that bounce off of, or travel through, walls all throughout a room. Placing the router on the ground means that there are more obstructions like furniture to get in the way of the signal. This is the reason that public buildings and businesses with wi-fi have the router attached to the walls.

 

A quick, convenient and reasonably reliable way of doing this is to hang it from the wall like a painting. You do this by putting a push pin into the wall. Then, you can either:

  1. Tie a zip tie around one of the holes on the router with enough slack to hang it from the push pin/nail.
  2. Tie a zip tie around the router snugly. Then, tie another zip tie around that one with enough slack to hang it from the push pin/nail.

 

Here are links to pick up push pins and zip ties:

 

Option 2: A Really Long Ethernet Cable

I shit you not. Depending on where you set up shop, a really long ethernet cable connected to a modum can provide your internet connection.

 

Ignore the dumbassery and difficulty inherent in trying to pull this off for outdoor gaming.

 

An etherent cable provides a much faster and reliable internet connection than wireless, and is the universally preferred internet connectivity method among gamers. For this reason, it’s still remains a viable option.

 

Try to move your modem as close to your chosen location as possible, and get a really long ethernet cable. 100 feet should be pretty good. Link to get 100 ft ethernet cable (Amazon).

 

The Location

Most importantly, do this on a bright sunny day. Probably seems really obvious, but still wanted to get it out of the way. A porch or backyard would be the simplest and most convenient option, if available. All you need is a chair and a Fold Up Table (Amazon) that you can easily setup and put away as needed.

 

A second option would be to sit by an open window and let the sun shine on you. With this option, it’s much more feasible to use a wired internet connection since you’re still indoors. Or, you could consider…

 

Gaming In Public Places?

Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon to for guys to claim a table in a public building lobby or coffee shop and use the free public wi-fi to play video games for hours.

 

Most coffee shops provide free wi-fi for its customers, and many of those coffee shops also have outdoor seating available. Some Starbucks shops provide outdoor seating.

 

As long as you occasionally buy something from the coffee shop and/or don’t bother other people with that all-too-common gaming rage, you should be fine.

 

That’s the biggest benefit from public gaming: you have to develop greater self-control.

 

In your own home, you can yell, scream and/or throw shit to your heart’s (dis)content with little to no consequence whenever you’re getting pwn’d. But in a public place like a coffee shop, you’re gonna get your ass thrown out if you pull that shit. Worst case, someone might call the cops and you’ll face legal problems.

 

Now, I’m not saying you should risk legal repercussions just to enhance the benefits from playing video games. I’m only saying that the benefits are there, and that you can consider opting for this riskier option if you think you can handle it.

 

Other Useful Tips

You should consider getting a headset. Being outdoors and/or in public places means it’s important not to disturb other people with noise from the game. Even if aren’t raging, there’s nothing you can do about the noise from the game.

 

This is the one I recommend (Amazon).

 

Alternatively, you can play on mute, but that’ll ruin the overall gaming experience in my opinion.

 

Final Words

There you go. The practical ways of playing video games outdoors in the sunshine. With this method, you’re actually improving the physical state of your eyes to enable better eyesight, and you’re also training your brain to make much more efficient use of visual information from your eyes.

 

I think we may have stumbled on an optometry gold mine here. But, we won’t know for sure until we actually try it out. So, let’s get out there and do outdoor gaming!

 

You know the drill. Leave a comment with your thoughts, share this article with anyone whose eyesight is terrible, and sign up to get free productivity eBook. More productivity is never a bad thing.

 

All the best,

Brandon

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