From a young age, there are certain cold, hard facts that almost everyone finds themselves faced with.  For many gamers, one of the most common is the myth that sitting too close to a television or computer screen will cause significant damage to their eyes. The question though, is whether there is any truth to this “fact.”

As luck (and science) would have it, the dangers of sitting too close to a computer screen or television are almost non-existent. While these actions can promote increased eye-strain, this is hardly the danger that everyone’s mothers warned them about as young children.

Explained in a recent Discovery News video, the myth spawned from a series of faulty television recalls in the 1960s. It turns out some of General Electric’s products were emitting a higher-than-normal amount of x-rays. This leakage of radiation in the vicinity of the faulty televisions is what presented the danger that children are still warned about. Even then, it had nothing to do with protecting one’s eyes.

Staring At Screens Not Dangerous

In a similar vein as this, many children were also warned of the dangers of looking at computer and television screens in the dark. This also gets the debunking treatment as the human eye has, for most of history, had to contend with low-light use – particularly in the presence of candles. Reading or viewing something in the dark in the presence of a bright, flickering light is nothing new and something that has been a regular part of the human eye’s usage for much of history. This is great news because games like Outlast and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs just wouldn’t be the same without the added atmosphere of a dark room.

The one thing that those who enjoy cozying up to their computer monitor in the dark will need to contend with though is eye-strain. While it may not be the threat that your mother warned you about, it can still be a very real nuisance. The increased eye activity that comes from these activities more easily tires out the eye and in turn causes the discomfort. This is the last thing that you would want to occur while attempting to take in every little detail of the Titanfall match at hand.

For some, this may be common knowledge. For others though, this could represent a childhood-shattering revelation. Imagine how much more immersive all those years of playing Mario and Sonic would have been if you’d known that it wouldn’t have hurt to sit just a few inches closer to the television though. Eye-strain or not, sometimes gaming experiences truly call for the up-close-and-personal approach that mothers everywhere warned their children about.

Did you find yourself faced with this same “fact” growing up? What other false gaming perceptions were a part of your childhood?


Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.

Source: Discovery News