Peripheral Vision: Gunnar Vayper

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Last week’s review was quite a challenge, and this week will be even harder. Since we at GameZone are by no means shy of a good challenge, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find out if Gunnar’s Advanced Gaming Eyewear is worth your hard-earned cash.

To start things off, let’s look at what Gunnar promises within their gaming eyewear: increased contrast for great visual accuracy, enhanced detail, reduction in glare, improved visual endurance for extended gaming sessions, and decreased amount of eye fatigue and dry eyes. Do we all agree that is quite a tall order of benefits, just for wearing a pair of glasses?

Please take note that I was supplied with Gunnar Vayper Onyx for this review, and the next paragraph is based on the provided pair alone.

Right out of the box, they felt quite fragile and looked to be made out of very thin metal. I was very concerned with how long they might last. Fast-forward through two weeks of intensive gaming and experimentation, and I must congratulate Gunnar on building quite a study product. These glasses have held up very well, which you can clearly see via the included pictures (taken the day of this review).

The only noticeable wear & tear is the fading of the print

We’ve established that they can take quite a bit of punishment, but the more important question is: How do they feel when wearing them?

Personally, my experience wasn't exactly great. Now, I’m no stranger to wearing sunglasses, since France involves quite a bit of sun, so I can safely say that these “Advanced Gaming Eyewear” clearly have not been built for comfort. The sides of the glasses annoyed my ears and irritated the side of my head. I blame the slightly cheap plastic cover-type things located on the metal frame, since they're very hard.

They are stronger then you think!

Some other things worth mentioning:

  • Slight zoom/magnification – The lenses do have a slight zoom on them, which annoyed me and took about a week to adjust to. Imagine sitting at your normal distance from your television, only everything on the screen feels slightly closer.
  • The claim is that they give increased contrast – To my eyes (and those of my friends), everything turned a funny shade of yellow and looked really odd, whether in-game, using programs or just watching TV
  • Headaches – I encountered a few headaches after 2-3 hours of wearing them. I think it’s because of the slight zoom I mentioned in the first bullet point.
  • Everything felt brighter – While my wife thinks this is silly, I quite often will wear sunglasses in the morning, because it hurts my eyes to read certain websites and use certain programs when it's still early. These glasses only enhanced this problem.
  • They make me look and feel silly – This is personal taste, but everyone said I looked really silly, nerdy or even like a wasp (no picture included).

Love this picture!

At the end of the day, I found most of the big marketing words mentioned throughout the promotional materials to be untrue, so I cannot personally recommend a pair of Gunnar glasses to either enhance your vision or protect yourself while gaming. I do understand there are health risks for long gaming sessions, but I suggest that we just experience everything and anything in moderation.

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Thomas Adams Freelance Games Journalist who loves to write and record every aspect of video games!
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