Review: Gunnar Optiks Vinyl Gaming Glasses
A lot of people might not recognize the importance of gaming glasses. After all, they're not prescription models, and some may even think they're along the lines of what a hunter might wear out in the wilderness when he's hunting elk or something along those lines. But the truth is, our eyes do get worn down upon staring at a computer monitor for hours at a time. (And I can definitely back up this statement, as I spend hours a day covering video games and feel the effects.)
But Gunnar is trying to help folks out. Their line of Gunnar Optiks are made to make looking at a computer monitor or TV for prolonged game sessions a bit easier than just doing it with the naked eye. And you can throw that notion of looking ridiculous behind you, because the company's latest model, Vinyl, is nothing short of bad-ass.
Selling for around $100, the Vinyl glasses are made of quality parts. The lenses are tinted yellow, but don't have any sort distortion issues when looking at the game screen. In fact, it almost looks like details are cleared up just a little bit more, despite the mild change in tone. And the lenses are pretty durable, though you'll probably want to put these in the included slip case when they're not in use – just in case.
As for the other parts, you've got aluminum-magnesium forged build, so that the color won't fade off even after hours of use. The thermoplastic rubber sockets and spring hinges also go a long way into making sure the side pieces hold onto the main frame, without slipping off. If there's one thing I hate, it's a loose pair of glasses that can go flying off of your face during a heated Kinect session. And you can also adjust the nose pads for better comfort, in case you think they're pinching a little too closely.
We road tested the Gunnars with three different games, just to see how they would perform with particular genres. The first was a survival horror game – in this case, Dead Space 2 on the PS3 – and honestly, we didn't run into an issue once, not even with the darkness, at seeing anything on-screen.
The second test was a little trickier, as we went for something a bit more colorful – Angry Birds Trilogy on the Xbox 360. Though some of the brighter colors are diminished with the tinted lenses, that's a good thing, and we could still see the birds and play fields with very few problems.
Finally, we went all out with a game that pro gamers who wear Gunnars are quite familiar with – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. And it's pretty cool how the glasses help modify your view of some of these battlefields, though darker levels didn't really change that much. No biggie.
Though they're a bit costly, you get what you pay for out of the Gunnar Optiks Vinyl Gamer Glasses. They'll help out your eyes so they don't feel so itchy and watery, while at the same time make you look like, hey, a gamer that gives a crap. The best of both worlds, right?