The American Optometric Association launches first ever eye-friendly mobile board game, Blink Land

June 14, 2023
Blink Land teaches players about better screen time habits, how to ease common symptoms of digital eye strain and the importance of in-person care with an AOA doctor of optometry

ST. LOUIS June 15, 2023 – Today, the American Optometric Association (AOA), the leading authority on quality eye care and an advocate for our nation's health, launched Blink Land, a single-player mobile game that teaches players about eye health and its relation to screen time.

Over 227 million Americans play video games 1, and AOA’s 2022 Gamer Survey results revealed that the average gamer has experienced various eye-related symptoms from gaming, including eye strain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision. Prolonged screen time also can increase your risk of developing eye infections due to decreased blink rate while viewing screens. Blinking spreads tears across the eye, and when eyes don’t have enough tears to rinse away foreign matter, they become more prone to infection. To solve for this, Blink Land will educate gamers how screen time and eye health are connected through minigames, facts, and trivia throughout the game.

Many gamers are aware of the eye health implications for long-term screen time usage, but more than half (54%) do not visit a health care professional for a comprehensive eye exam every year. Blink Land helps share tangible actions players can take to protect their eyes while on screens, such as using the 20-20-20 rule, blinking frequently, and setting up your screens properly, along with players to book in-person yearly exams with an AOA doctor of optometry.

“During an annual in-person comprehensive eye exam, a doctor of optometry will not only check your vision but scan for and identify over 270 serious conditions. Annual eye exams coupled with healthy eye habits are a great formula for gamers to optimize their eye and overall health,” shared AOA President, Ronald L. Benner O.D. “This mobile game is an exciting bridge between the gaming and eye care worlds.”

Blink Land was developed as part of Eye Deserve More, AOA’s national public awareness campaign, now in its third year, that takes a stand that every American deserves in-person comprehensive eye care from a doctor of optometry as part of their eye health and overall wellbeing.

Blink Land provides gamers with the opportunity to learn about eye health and adopt healthy eye habits alongside the hero character “Blink.” The game was developed by Elaine Gómez-Sanchez and Playcrafting, a member of the Screen Time Alliance, which is a partnership between the American Optometric Association and gaming industry partners that provides gamers eye health tips right where they are – within a game.

“As someone who has experienced the impact long hours on screens has on my eyes, I felt passionate about developing Blink Land, which incorporates eye health into every aspect of the game” says Elaine Gómez-Sanchez, Game Designer and Developer, Blink Land. “With the popularity of gaming on the rise, we should all ensure we are taking proper care of our eye health so we can continue doing all that we love on screens for years to come.”

Download Blink Land on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. To book an appointment with a local AOA doctor of optometry, visit AOA.org/EyeDeserveMore 

About The American Optometric Association (AOA)

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 48,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.

About Eye Deserve More & Screen Time Alliance

Eye Deserve More is a multi-faceted national campaign to take a stand that every American deserves in-person comprehensive care from an AOA doctor of optometry as part of their eye health and overall health and wellbeing. The Screen Time Alliance, a first-of-its-kind alliance between the American Optometric Association and gaming industry partners, is a call to action to prioritize eye health across screens, devices and platforms. The Alliance aims to educate Americans about healthy screen time, especially the 227 million who play video games.

References:  

  1. Entertainment Software Association. February 2022. “2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry.” https://www.theesa.com/resource/2021-essential-facts-about-the-video-game-industry/
Related News

Optometry’s Meeting Highlights Strength of the American Optometric Association and Announces New Advocacy Awareness Network

Attendees were briefed on the association’s membership growth, new advocacy partnerships, and children’s health initiatives

Optometry’s Meeting® Welcomes Pre-Pandemic Level Audience of More Than 4,500 Attendees to Nashville

The event opened honoring Juneteenth, celebrated impactful advocacy wins and explored the potential of harnessing AI

The Myopia Collective Names Inaugural Change Agents

Over Sixty Eye Care Professionals Appointed to Spearhead Myopia Management Advocacy Across the Nation