The first time I saw "Gaming Glasses" I scoffed at the idea. I immediately thought it was a gimmick designed to get gamers to spend even more money on their hobby for something they really didn't need. But as we got into the Fall gaming season and my time in front of a TV and Monitor increased to almost 12 hours a day, my eyes told me they needed a break. I figured it was a good as time as any to see if these glasses could help.
I tested out SteelSeries Desmo glasses. This pair comes in Orange and Silver colors but both features the same design and lenses. The glasses are made with a few goals in mind - reduce glare, increase contrast, and be light weight and comfortable. The glasses are actually co-developed with another gaming glasses manufacturer, Gunnar, so you know there's plenty of design experience behind them.
The packaging for the glasses is solid and inside I found the glasses and a nice protective soft case that doubles as a cloth for lens cleaning. The glasses are extremely light weight and offer a nice adjustable nose piece - perfect for folks with bigger noses like myself. You won't win any fashion contests while wearing the glasses, but you aren't trying to either.
The real question with the glasses of course is - how do they work? I played extended session of Battlefield 3 with the glasses on my PC - sitting a few feet from a 27" ASUS monitor. I also used the glasses during games of Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, Skyrim, and Modern Warfare 3 on a 46" LED Samsung TV that sits about 6 feet away.
The biggest thing to get used to with the glasses is the fact that they give everything a warmer appearance, because of the yellowish tint. This means your whites are never quite white - which to some - including myself - is a bit of a turn off. For me, playing in my living room configuration, I never felt like they added any benefit. PC gaming on the other hand, sitting so close to a monitor, I could definitely tell my eyes were more relaxed after 2 hour session with BF3.
Ironically, perhaps the best use I found for them, is what I'm doing write now, writing. I think the muting of the bright white of a website or word processor really helps overall - and the many hours I spend working on the Co-Optimus I find myself picking up the glasses and wearing them. It's a bit odd to say the best use for gaming glasses is actually writing and coding on a computer - but they've helped immensely for me.
If there's one gripe I have with the SteelSeries Desmo glasses is that if you have a light on behind your head, you'll see several glare spots in the glasses themselves. But if you sit on a dark room this won't occour.
So are gaming glasses like the SteelSeries Desmo worth the price at $100 a pop? For anyone who spends long hours in front of a computer and finds themselves rubbing their eyes, using eye drops, and blinking a lot - most definitely. But if you game in a living room type enviornment, you're probably not going to see much benefit.
The SteelSeries Desmo glasses were provided by SteelSeries for evaluation purposes in this review. More info on them can be found right here.