Review: GUNNAR Optiks Havok and Mod by Publish Computer Eyewear

Gunnars do the job.

I’ve been using GUNNAR Optiks computer eyewear while at the computer for a few weeks now. The company was kind enough to send me two of their latest pairs to check out, and I’m happy to say that they work as promised.

The two pairs I’m using – Mod by Publish, and Havok – are hip, stylish, and comfortable. They’re light enough that they don’t cause any degree of fatigue on my nose or require any adjustment after I put them on.

The company is by no means new to the gaming scene, and they sponsor a variety of professional gamers and teams including SK Gaming, Fnatic and a few other high-profile organizations and events, including BlizzCon and MLG tournaments.

 

There’s one thing I need to get out of the way before I proceed with the rest of the review: Gunnars won’t turn you into an FPS god. But they will increase your viewing comfort and increase the contrast significantly, which should make it easier for you to maintain your focus over long periods of time.

To that end, Gunnars are primarily designed to help prevent eye fatigue, which is a real problem regardless of the monitor you use. Even with monitors offering warmer color options, displays don’t do much to reduce the amount of blue light emission, and can only do so much to reduce eye strain.

So why the yellow tint? Well, it’s to block out the blue light emitted from any computer display. Blue light consists of short-wavelength, high-energy rays that can cause long-term damage to your eyes. While your eyes do a good job on their own of blocking UV rays from reaching (and thus damaging) the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eyeballs, all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina.

Research shows that extensive exposure to blue light can damage the cells in your retina, and cause permanent loss of vision. It’s hard to say how much blue light is too much, and research is ongoing, but blue light has been proven to contribute to eye strain.

If you plan on spending long hours gaming, you can’t go wrong with a pair of these. After all, when you’re caught up in consecutive matches of Overwatch or long stretches of The Witcher 3, taking periodic breaks might not be your highest priority.

 

The two pairs I’m using are unpowered, non-prescription glasses, but they’re also available with prescription lenses. They’re tinted slightly yellow, but not to the point where they’ll impact the color reproduction in a video game or movie scene.

The improvements might not be evident at first use, and if you’re unused to wearing glasses, they might take some getting used to—but I found myself able to spend longer stretches of time at the computer after wearing them than without.

If you’re like me and spend 8 hours in front a computer screen, these glasses are a godsend.