New video game can actually help kids’ vision.

Ever been told not to sit too close to a screen because it might damage your eyes? Researchers and the University of Manchester have found a way around that. Sort of. They have developed a new game that allows kids as young as four to sit still long enough for them to check for things like glaucoma and even brain tumors. Tariq Islam, a consultant from the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital describes it: 

“We built a large toy castle roughly a metre high. A pair of magic glasses is set into the front wall, and when the child looks right through them we know they are in the right position and so a drawbridge in the castle wall electronically opens to allow the child to see and play a game on a screen within. The aim of the game is to track a wizard inside the castle, and press a button to help him squash rogue tomatoes. While concentrating on the wizard in the centre of the screen, they then press a different button if they spot a ghost appearing at the corners. Their reactions are recorded automatically by the software using a laptop attached to the game screen. Parents do sometimes worry about their children spending too much time looking at computer screens, but in this case it could potentially help to save a child’s sight or give valuable information to help treat their medical condition.”

Lana Polansky