Steelseries Scope – Seeing the World Through Amber Tinted Goggles
When I first heard about the Steelseries Scope gaming glasses by Gunnar Optiks, apprehension wasn’t quite the word I would use to describe what I felt. I imagine, it was something along the lines of how PT Barnum’s patrons felt when they were about to see the Figi Mermaid revealed.
When I finally received the Steelseries Scope glasses in the mail and tried them on for the first time however, I noticeably felt my eyes adjusting themselves as my perception of the world around me shifted. I looked at the screen in front of me, and the world that was Halo Rea…err…Halo Anniversary Multiplayer suddenly got brighter. Colors were more vivid, and my eyes seemed to focus more sharply at the screen. Being the only thirty-something amongst a group of rabid teenagers at the Toronto FanExpo demonstration of Halo Anniversary Multiplayer, I noticed something else:
Even with my tired, feeble and slow skills, I actually placed second. Convinced that this was a fluke, I decided to try out a few more games just to see how these ocular enhancements handled. We’ll get into the details in a minute.
The Steelseries Scope gamer glasses are constructed of ultra-light materials that allow you to essentially forget about them while you’re wearing them. The temples are made of a composite material that allows them to maintain the rigidity necessary to hold the glasses to your head while keeping a low profile. This allows the glasses to be worn in conjunction with a headset and keep the temples from pressing into the side of your head from the ear pads pushing down on the frame. Likewise, the bridge and frame are made of a lightweight, yet sturdy, metal that allows the glasses to sit on the bridge of your nose without weighing down on it. Both of these features reduce the fatigue associated with wearing glasses for long periods of time.
However, the magic really happens in the lenses themselves. The amber hue reduces the harsh intense light associated with fluorescent light and blue light wavelengths, which relieves some of the stress on the eyes when focusing on a single object for lengths of time. This supposedly decreases the fatigue associated with marathon gaming like you would experience at a tournament. The lenses are also treated with an anti-glare coating to further reduce stress on your eyes. The end result (what you actually see) is that when looking at a screen, colors appear more vivid and your eyes appear to have an easier time focusing on what’s in front of you.
Of course, this begs the question: what if you already wear glasses?
Steelseries’s partner in creating these glasses, Gunnar, has an Rx line of lenses to accommodate for your prescription needs. A brief search on Gunnar’s site informed me that I have two Rx lens dealers within ten miles of my Southgate, Michigan residence. I called a couple of shops in my area and they did indeed have the lenses. With the non-reflective coating, they started at $200 with an additional $100 for the frame. Considering the cost of today’s specs, it’s not a bad price.
So do they actually work? In a word, yes. They don’t make your reflexes faster, or make your wits sharper, but what they do accomplish is filter out light that would otherwise cause your eyes to strain. This not only goes for the lighting around you, but the lighting in front of you such as with an LCD TV at a close range. By reducing the strain on your eyes, the amount of time it takes before you start to feel fatigue is increased dramatically. The end result: better gaming. I’ve reviewed about four games now while using the Steelseries Scope glasses and I can tell you first hand that I am able to play for longer durations, and my kill-death ratios have taken a significant uptick since using them.
Furthermore, I’ve been using the Scope glasses on a regular basis at work as well, seeing as I work in the IT field, sitting in front of a computer 9-5. I’ve noticed that my eyes aren’t nearly as tired as the end of the day approaches. I’ve also become a bit more productive than normal, being able to concentrate for longer durations than I did before.
Overall, the Steelseries Scope is more than just a gimmick to get you to wear more expensive branded gear for status. They really do what they advertise. If you’re looking for one more thing to give you an edge over the competition, this is definitely something that you should look into. At a $100 starting price point, they’re definitely a worthwhile purchase for the serious, yet stylish, gamer.
This product receives a full 5/5.
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