• Gunnar Paralex: How Do You Like Your Crow?

    Inferno-35396-hi-gunnar_logo-jpgAnd Crow is exactly what I am eating after spending some time with the Gunnar Paralex Digital Performance Eyeware. Seeing is believing, and I am now a believer.

    I first saw the Gunnars at QuakeCon 2011 as I strolled the many booths. "Performance Gaming Eyewear" caught my eye (so to speak), enough to make me pause and throw a pair on. The idea of it sounded gimmicky, and I gave them exactly 2 seconds in a dark crowded room looking at whatever demo game they had playing. With my closed mind, and the lack of a chance I gave them, I had already made up my mind that they were a waste of coin.

    Was I ever wrong.......

    A few weeks after QuakeCon, our own Vafaskillz had procured a pair, and was touting them. Supercarl1 echoed his happiness with his pair a couple days later. After Vafa was done with the review he wrote, he sent them to Duddy to try, and the sentiment was the same. Here I had three people I know and trust, and they all were saying the same things... these things are incredible.

    I met up with Duddy, and he handed over the shades with one simple comment. "Once you have them on for 10 minutes, you won't want to take them off." I took them home to see for myself... and see I did.

    Inferno-gunnar1-pngMy first impressions out of the box is that they were stylish and lightweight.

    As soon as you put them on, the difference is astounding. With an ever so light magnification on the non-prescription pair I had (prescription versions available), and the light yellow tint, my screen came alive. Darks were darker, lights were lighter, and the contrast between the two was unreal. It was like getting a new monitor. Everything just looked... better.

    The real test was going to be CS:S, so I went in. I played for about an hour or so, and noticed something I never expected. My eyes seemed to be open wider, and they were much more comfortable. I never noticed that I squinted while gaming, until I wasn't. Even after a good 3-4 hour session that first night, my eyes felt fresh as a daisy. The slight magnification was just enough to take the strain off my eyes, and the tint made everything pop. I felt good.

    Inferno-biggunnar-pngWhile I still sucked at CS:S (there were no magic beans in the box), I noticed a few things. I couldn't find any spot on any map where I could make my crosshair disappear. I use the stock green, and even on the worst spots on Dust_2, they were easy to see. Aiming at long ranges was also much easier to see. The level of detail coupled with the added contrast let me see things I otherwise might have missed....that gun barrel sticking out from around the wall at range, or the guy trying to hide in a dark spot. I can't say my game was much better, but at least I could see who was killing me.

    I have now spent a solid week wearing the Gunnars every time I play. I am completely sold. Eye strain is considerably reduced, and the games look more vibrant and alive than ever. Just as good audio can help immerse you in the game, the Gunnars seem to add to the experience.

    The only criticism I have is the earpieces. I wear headphones while gaming, and the earpieces seem to get pinched by the top of my headset. Rather than the harder plastic, some soft plastic or rubber would be more comfortable.

    As for the price (the ones I tested were ~$80), it's subjective. Just slightly above the price of a new game, eighty bucks isn't so bad... especially for the benefit they give you in all of your games. They are light enough to be comfortable, and sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of my home office. With proper care, you can make that $80 last quite a long time, and use in every game.

    On a scale of 1-10, I think Vafa nailed these at an 8.5. As soon as I am done with my crow here, I will be ordering myself a pair.
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Vulcan30's Avatar
      Vulcan30 -
      Interesting, it's seems like it's shooter shades for gaming. Do they have anything that would work with prescription lenses (as I wear glasses).
    1. Potemkine's Avatar
      Potemkine -
      Yes, they offer prescription support through Carl Zeiss optics. They are one of the best when it comes to lenses.
    1. WileECyte's Avatar
      WileECyte -
      The important question on everyone's mind is... how do you like your crow?
    1. CivilWars's Avatar
      CivilWars -
      Quote Originally Posted by WileECyte View Post
      The important question on everyone's mind is... how do you like your crow?
      Buffalo style?


      Sent from my UrMoms using Tapatalk
    1. QuickLightning's Avatar
      QuickLightning -
      Honestly I don't see it still. They've been tossing these out at the local Intel LANFests and I have tried on a pair... making everything slightly yellow didn't really help me see anything any clearer. I've also never really had trouble seeing my crosshair in CSS - Maybe you guys need to adjust your monitor settings a bit? I'm convinced it's a placebo effect. But if that works for you, more power to you. I'll be sitting over here on my skeptical chair.
    1. dex71's Avatar
      dex71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by QuickLightning View Post
      Honestly I don't see it still. They've been tossing these out at the local Intel LANFests and I have tried on a pair... making everything slightly yellow didn't really help me see anything any clearer. I've also never really had trouble seeing my crosshair in CSS - Maybe you guys need to adjust your monitor settings a bit? I'm convinced it's a placebo effect. But if that works for you, more power to you. I'll be sitting over here on my skeptical chair.
      Same chair I was in. You really need to give them a couple hours, and you will feel the difference. I have 20/20 vision (my hindsight is even better), but these things completely eliminated eye strain. I thought they were a gimmick before I gave them a fair shake.

      And I prefer my crow raw.....Caw! Caw! Crunch.
    1. Toker's Avatar
      Toker -
      It reminds me of wearing glasses at a shooting range. Shit starts to hurt on the side of the head as your headphones press them against your head for hours. Looks like the thin frame probably helps a bit...
    1. maximusboomus's Avatar
      maximusboomus -
      I play with beer goggles and I often see massive improvement in my gameplay, I go from 0 to hero after a few.... Lol's aside I am skeptical that these are any different than a $10 tinted glasses. I never really pay attention to crosshairs any more due to BC2...
    1. QuickLightning's Avatar
      QuickLightning -
      Oddly I didn't see them demoing or tossing any of these out at the recent Intel LANFest. Figured I'd try one out again.
    1. flame's Avatar
      flame -
      I have a pair of smith and wesson shooting glasses that are yellow tint and are designed for basically the same thing just RL. I am gonna game with them for a few hours and see whats up. I paid $10 for mine. Let yall know how my cheap game glasses work.
    1. moving-target's Avatar
      moving-target -
      Quote Originally Posted by flame View Post
      I have a pair of smith and wesson shooting glasses that are yellow tint and are designed for basically the same thing just RL. I am gonna game with them for a few hours and see whats up. I paid $10 for mine. Let yall know how my cheap game glasses work.
      how did that work out i was talking about this the other night and reckond the yellow lenses work the same as shooter glasses