I want to sit closer when playing games as opposed to watching TV

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,933
Are there any eye experts who know why this is?

Am perfectly comfortable watching TV / movies from the sofa, but with games (Bloodborne as an example) I put a chair in front of the sofa and sit on that. And even then, it doesn't feel entirely comfortable.

My theory is that the 'focal point' for most games is actually a very small area of screen - you're focusing on the distance, where you're intending to go, where there are enemies you need to deal with, etc. Whereas the focal point for TV is generally much larger. If you think about a talking head scene, you're looking at the person's head taking up literally half the screen.

Anyone else have this issue, or have any insight?
 

nsilvias

Self-requested temporary ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,495
there's more to focus on in games unlike movies where everything the director wants you to see is in frame at all times.
 

CloudCircus

Member
Dec 9, 2017
364
Yeah, I think I know what you mean.
I have a large TV and I much prefer to play on a portable screen. Playing PS4 on a big screen makes me pretty tired
 

Kirksplosion

Member
Aug 21, 2018
493
I’m the exact same way and also have a gaming chair I plop down in front of the sofa. There’s no way I could possibly see all the subtle enemy movements in MP if I sat as far away as I do while just watching TV.
 

Annihilo

Member
Sep 14, 2019
32
a more advantageous field of view that you are more invested in due to the interactivity of gaming
 

CrazyAndy

Self-requested ban
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
4,071
Same. I watch movies or shows in bed but when I play games I usually sit in a big bean bag chair not far from the TV.
 
OP
OP
daninthemix

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,933
Oh well, I guess it's comforting to know that it's not just me then.

Actually my preference would be to plug the PS4 into my monitor, but then I find I need an HDMI 2.0 port to get 4k, so the living room is the only place I can play at 4K.
 

Shadow

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,421
My parents have their TV hung above a fireplace tilted down so it’s like 12-15 feet away with a 65”. Watching movies is perfect, but playing games is kinda hard as I don’t feel close enough to see all the details I need to see.

The main TV I use is 7 feet away(used tape measure) from head back on the couch with a 46” and it feels like the perfect distance for games.
 

oni-link

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,197
UK
Games are sit forward entertainment whereas TV and film are sit back entertainment

With games you need to focus on a lot more as well, mini map, health bar, the two enemies around you, signs from the environment

With film and TV the director mostly draws your attention to only one thing at a time
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
2,165
I have terrible vision, so it's advantageous to sit closer to the screen for playing games, otherwise I'm highly likely to miss important things, which will result in me playing a lot worse.

For TV shows and movies, I can sit anywhere because the show/movie just plays itself out regardless of what I see. Hell, I'll sometimes "watch" a TV show without even looking at the screen; just listening to the audio while doing something else.

FWIW, I sit with my knees up against the cabinet on which my 55" TV is stood for playing games (I can literally reach out and touch the screen without leaning forward). The only games I sit further back for are DJMax, emulated games, and other games where the on screen elements are universally large and/or low resolution.
 

Kyser73

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,591
QLD, Australia
I’ll usually start a game lounging back on the sofa, but slowly start leaning in as action ramps up.

My little boy goes from leaning in to star with and then standing up and then jumping.
 
Oct 28, 2017
76
I have various eye issues and have had to switch to PC gaming on a laptop. This gen makes a lot of games on TV near on impossible for me to play with tiny font and crosshairs. Ironically the higher the definition of a game, the more I struggle. Retro gaming on TV gives no issues.
 
OP
OP
daninthemix

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,933
I have various eye issues and have had to switch to PC gaming on a laptop. This gen makes a lot of games on TV near on impossible for me to play with tiny font and crosshairs. Ironically the higher the definition of a game, the more I struggle. Retro gaming on TV gives no issues.
Well of course old 2D games had no 'focal point' as such, because everything in the screen was the same focal distance from you. Nowadays we're staring down a 3D viewport at things that might be very 'far' away.
 

vbwh

Member
Jul 24, 2018
9
Well of course old 2D games had no 'focal point' as such, because everything in the screen was the same focal distance from you. Nowadays we're staring down a 3D viewport at things that might be very 'far' away.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Unless you're from the future and have a light field display, your eyes are focused at exactly the same distance regardless of the contents of the TV. Your eyes don't know whether your virtual camera is mashed against a wall or looking over a distant landscape.
 
OP
OP
daninthemix

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,933
I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Unless you're from the future and have a light field display, your eyes are focused at exactly the same distance regardless of the contents of the TV. Your eyes don't know whether your virtual camera is mashed against a wall or looking over a distant landscape.
I guess what I mean is, in a 2D game the size of whatever you're trying to focus on is the same, whereas in a 3D game if you're trying to focus on 'distant' things they are very small, and you can spend most of the game trying to focus on these very small areas of screen. In fact this probably just comes down to eyestrain from trying to resolve small areas in the distance.
 

Yataran

Member
Jul 17, 2018
197
Copenhagen, DK
There's usually a lot more information to process in a "game screen" than on a "movie/TV screen", and it requires a different kind of processing. Watching a movies is generally a lot more passive than playing a game, where you're generally expect to keep focus on the UI, the general landscape, and any movements on the screen, while also using the controller and predicting what's the next action to do or event that may happen. In a movie you're "simply" expected to digest what you're given and to react emotionally in certain ways, and so the focus tend to be a lot broader and that makes it possible to change the way the scenes are presented a lot faster and more frequently than it would generally happen in a game.

Imagine if, in a movie, you had to pay attention to every single detail happening on the screen all the time... And if, in a game (Note: Not during cutscenes, which are more like movies, but during gameplay) your camera angles and the scenario changed as frequently as it does in a 90 minutes movie. Definitely quite chaotic, but it could work well as experimental approaches in both media.
 

dodmaster

Member
Apr 27, 2019
295
There's a limit to this. I have a 50" 4K Panasonic and I sit about 3' from it. At some point there's becomes too much screenspace to keep track of if you're too close. Of course, FOV is a thing you can adjust in smaller screens to compensate, but I think a high FOV is awful.
 

Inside

Member
Oct 25, 2017
116
Denmark
Playing competitive games? I need to sit directly in front of the screen. For example CSGO on PC.
Playing console games? I have the same tendency as you. It very much depends on which game it is. Now im playing Death Stranding, and I dont need to sit close to the TV. But with other games I tend to put a chair in front of the TV. For example BF1, when I played that on PS4, I needed to be closer to see enemies better. Now I only play FPS games on PC.
Wathcing TV / movies? couch is fine with me. No need to get closer
 

jxN3

Member
Oct 3, 2018
174
This is my setup, I sit close as fuck, and I love it. Just man up.



I'm also now blind as fuck, but fuck it bro.
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,914
I prefer sitting at my monitor versus my big screen TV as well.

Videogames being interactive I’m able to pick out tiny distant details, that I’d miss if I sat back on a couch.

With movies you just sit back and take it all in. You’re not looking for item pick ups or other characters to engage with.
 

JamFlan

Member
May 16, 2018
669
there's more to focus on in games unlike movies where everything the director wants you to see is in frame at all times.
Well, there's a lot to focus on in movies too.

When you sit closer to the screen it occupies a certain amount of your field of vision.

With movies, there gets a point where so much of your field of vision is occupied that you can't focus on your whole screen at once. This is detrimental to film viewing because you don't get the "big picture" of what the filmmakers were trying to convey with the scene.

With games, the same thing is a positive. When you play a game there's a lot of things to "see", but you're rarely trying to picture the entire screen at once. You're focusing in on individual parts and reading the data there, while loosely keeping an eye on everything else.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,264
well for me it's because UI in games is ridiculously tiny now. i thought it was just an annoying trend at the start of the HD era but it remained for whatever reason
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,218
Chiming in with the "gaming on a PC the most but there's also a ton of controller-focused games on the PC" report.

My screen/desk set-up is just not something that FEELS right when I play a game needing a controller.

When I try to go back to console I need to be close up as well, this couch won't do but nor will the office chair.

Not sure what to do here.
 

Xenor

Member
Jun 1, 2018
68
Since PS3 I can't sit far back anymore. Font size is crazy small in most games.

 

Zem

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,689
United Kingdom
Yep I feel the same. Movies and sports I can watch on the TV absolutely perfect, but I prefer to play my PS4 on a PC monitor because it's closer. It's just not as comfortable to play a game at a distance. Text size is tiny in most games and you also miss a lot of small details in the world. Like on DS when I swapped from my TV to monitor I noticed he had that little toy thing on his backpack which I couldn't see at all on the TV.
 

ultramooz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
224
Paris, France
Playing death standing and trying to read the package destinations forced me sit 50cm from the TV.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to write the most essential info in font-size 5, in the corner of the screen should be fired. Or he probably was bribed by opticians.

Monster hunter world was kind of unplayable for me for the same reason. Hated the UI and soured me on the game amongst other reasons.
 

Defect

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,308
I switched to gaming on a monitor at my desk a few years ago and my eyes are thanking me.
 

SprachBrooks

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,347
Games require you to focus in a way any other mode of entertainment doesn't as you're in control of well, the controls. I do this as does everyone else, even if they're not aware they do it.
 

HotAndTender

Member
Dec 6, 2017
444
For shooters like Gears and MW i have to sit 5/6 foot from my TV, i make a small chair out of pillows and sit on the floor. I can't play sat back on the couch which is about 15 foot away. I think it's down to having full concentration when playing online. Any other games for example Dark Souls i can happily play sat back on the couch.
 

Iriscomeback

Member
Oct 27, 2017
979
I have the same, one of the reasons why I love the Switch so much.

Some games have tiny fonts and way to much shit going on
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,751
Cologne, Germany
never sat far away from my TV when playing games. i need to be relatively close to the screen, not only because of text size these days, i just can´t play when i am too far away from the screen.
 

Sanctuary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,799
Are there any eye experts who know why this is?

Am perfectly comfortable watching TV / movies from the sofa, but with games (Bloodborne as an example) I put a chair in front of the sofa and sit on that. And even then, it doesn't feel entirely comfortable.

My theory is that the 'focal point' for most games is actually a very small area of screen - you're focusing on the distance, where you're intending to go, where there are enemies you need to deal with, etc. Whereas the focal point for TV is generally much larger. If you think about a talking head scene, you're looking at the person's head taking up literally half the screen.

Anyone else have this issue, or have any insight?
I actually used to be the opposite of this. I used to prefer being able to have the entire screen in my FOV at the same time. Even if I was still focusing on a specific point, it was still easier to use peripheral vision to get a better picture of what was going on to the sides of me. I actually used to sit closer to my TV when playing games, but this was when I was regularly gaming on a 42''. After upgrading to a 55'', I thought it had the perfect FOV for gaming at the distance I was sitting (six and a half feet), yet movies were still not quite as immersive as what I would have liked. After going up a size again to a 65'', movies ended up becoming just about perfect, but it took me a while to get used to playing games on it.

Right now, the FOV I have with my TV at my regular viewing distance is approximately the same as I have on my desktop monitor.

edit: If we're talking about sitting "far" from the TV like 10+ feet like I've seen a whole lot of people do in person, I have never done that except when in someone else's home. The farthest I've ever been away from my own TVs would be seven feet, but it's usually closer. Conversely, I could never sit super close to a TV either to the point in which the sides of the screen just become illegible, which I've also seen some do with the 35+ inch monster monitors that are kind of ridiculous at two, to two and a half feet away.

There's a limit to this. I have a 50" 4K Panasonic and I sit about 3' from it. At some point there's becomes too much screenspace to keep track of if you're too close. Of course, FOV is a thing you can adjust in smaller screens to compensate, but I think a high FOV is awful.
Exactly.
 
Last edited:

ThreepQuest64

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,235
Germany
I remember the time where they used that only bigger but entirely different more readable fonts for big screens on consoles. Even the HUD and menus were entirely different on console versions (opposed to PC version). So, yeah, as others have stated this might be the reason.

Another reason is the interactivity. It's up to you to see that pixel at the distance that might be important because it's quest-relevant or someone trying to shoot you. You rarely have that films. However, you would gain more immersion when sitting closer to the film running on your TV as well. Many films are made for cinema and they have to work for the first and last row as well and with lots of vignetting and depth of field and other techniques filmmakers often show you the most important parts in the screen center, and if they use wide frame shots they usually give you enough time to "scan" the whole screen from left to right (or the way they want to you to scan it through clever photography and composition). So you're not really missing out when sitting closer but usually gain more immersion as the screen occupies more of your field of view.
 
OP
OP
daninthemix

daninthemix

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,933
Playing death standing and trying to read the package destinations forced me sit 50cm from the TV.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to write the most essential info in font-size 5, in the corner of the screen should be fired. Or he probably was bribed by opticians.

Monster hunter world was kind of unplayable for me for the same reason. Hated the UI and soured me on the game amongst other reasons.
An interesting point there is the Death Stranding mini-documentary by the BBC (I think it was the BBC) showed Kojima and other senior staff members playing the game on a large TV and sitting very close to it.
 

Lord Azrael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,357
I'm the same, and it's definitely just because everything is smaller in games. The UI, the characters, the focal point, etc. Everything is just way more zoomed out to the point I can't see it as well from a distance
 

ultramooz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
224
Paris, France
An interesting point there is the Death Stranding mini-documentary by the BBC (I think it was the BBC) showed Kojima and other senior staff members playing the game on a large TV and sitting very close to it.
I imagined they were making the game on Pc monitors and didn’t care / think about console experience - but this is much more stupid. Game developers need to hire a normal person, gaming in normal setting to design the UI.

Gaming on switch is usually so much kinder in my eyes than on other consoles. Just finished Death Stranding and going back to DQ XI feels like a blessing. Readable menus and dialogues !
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
2,165
Gaming on switch is usually so much kinder in my eyes than on other consoles. Just finished Death Stranding and going back to DQ XI feels like a blessing. Readable menus and dialogues !
Maybe on a TV, but I tried playing Octopath Traveller in portable mode when I got my Switch in September. I gave up after about ten minutes. I played a lot of Vita and DS games, and I don't remember any of them being that bad.

I really need to try it on my TV as I expect it will be a lot better.
 

Dr. Zoidberg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,072
Decapod 10
Am perfectly comfortable watching TV / movies from the sofa, but with games (Bloodborne as an example) I put a chair in front of the sofa and sit on that.
I do the exact same thing. I have a 55" TV. I watch TV/movies from a sofa about 10'-12' away. When I game I have a recliner I push up to about 3'-4' away from the screen. Very comfy. I chalk it up to needing to see small details better in games, and the font situation lately has gotten rediculous.