With so much work being done to give competitive gamers an edge, everyone from pro esports teams to young competitors looking to climb the ranks is looking to get a leg up on the competition. But what if the big secret to it all was better protection for one’s eyes?
That’s the idea being put forward by founder Bryan Reedy and his team at Gamer Advantage. They strongly believe that their products, which promote eye health and eye protection, give gamers a meaningful advantage. And considering the additional health benefits of filtering out blue light from screens, that advantage may even go beyond more standard gaming performance additions like premium mice, keyboards, or headphones.
WIN.gg sat down with Reedy to talk about Gamer Advantage’s proposition and the future of eye care in the realm of gaming and competition.
Bryan, how did you get involved in the gaming industry, and what led to your founding Gamer Advantage?
Bryan Reedy, Gamer Advantage founder: I’ve been a gamer my whole life. I once worked on a radio show that was sponsored by [gaming eyewear provider] Gunnars. Eventually, I joined my wife’s family business, and they sell glasses to eye doctors.
It took seconds to realize that everyone [selling gaming glasses] was doing it wrong. Someone made the decision to turn it into a novelty, when it’s meant to be real protection. At some point, the industry shifted from science to clickbait. I realized this was a massive opportunity, because now I knew eyewear, and it’s really not that hard to do it right.
Gamer Advantage was an idea that I had. I spent a year and a half testing glasses while making blue light glasses for other companies and looking at their strategies. After that year and a half I found a lens that made a real difference, and I met with the founder who had created it. I was like, “My god, we need to take this lens to gamers, they need to know that this is real and that it can help them.”
What need do you see Gamer Advantage answering for the average competitive gamer?
Reedy: Our glasses are to gaming what a helmet is to American football. Imagine when the guy who first created sunscreen said, “Rub this all over your body and it helps protect you from the sun.” That’s what we feel like we’re saying now.
What I was seeing when looking at the gaming space and the technology available was that the intention of blue light eyewear was being sold as, “You’ll get eye strain [from blue light] and our glasses will make you a better gamer.” But that’s just marketing talk.
There’s a real problem when you flood your body with more blue light than what the sun gives you, because it starts having an effect on what your body does to prepare for the sleep-wake cycle. So our glasses are really a form of protection, like a helmet. This is not some cheap marketing thing.
But what separates the glasses made by Gamer Advantage from those made by other companies marketing their glasses to gamers?
Reedy: The first thing to establish when we talk about gaming glasses is that the only thing specific to gaming is the lens. When you look at the frames that were being released [for gamers], they were metal frames with yellow lenses. You could call someone out from across the room that they’re wearing Gunnars, for example.
We’re looking to make eyewear that’s appealing enough to wear throughout the day, and is also good enough for the competitive gamer.
It’s not just the lens, which is far superior to others as it’s the only one that’s clinically proven, but also the body, the frame itself. It’s hypoallergenic, resistant to deterioration, ultra lightweight, it flexes, and it doesn’t need to be adjusted. So you can actually wear it all day. And we do prescriptions on top of that which can turn them into reading glasses.
Horizon takes it a step further. Everything that you think “gaming glasses” look like, it’s not what we launched. Horizon is premium, sexy, and sleek, but it’s still powered by our clinically proven lens. So whether or not you subscribe to blue light, we believe we make the best pairs of glasses you’ll ever own.
You mentioned the idea of “subscribing” to blue light. How do you convince gamers that blue light is something they need to take seriously?
Reedy: The easiest thing is the scare tactic, talking about how the cells in your brain are the only ones that don’t regenerate and our eyes are literally connected to our brains. You think about what you’re already investing into other parts of your body, investing in expensive running shoes for example, and how you should also think about protecting your eyes and thus your brain.
All I can really do to prove out what we’re doing is to ask people to trial our glasses, which we’ll take back with no questions asked. We’ve had people tell us life-changing stories. People dealing with migraines, insomnia, depression, anxiety, who say that now they’re sleeping better and that their life has really changed as a result.
The best thing we can do is get our product on people’s faces. That’s why we try to make it available to everyone we can. And our return rate is below 1%. That gives us the confidence to go forward and say, “Just let me put our eyewear in your hands.”
It seems like you’re really trying to redefine what “gaming glasses” are all about.
Reedy: Look, some brands made it hard because they turned gaming eyewear into a joke. You don’t wear it because you’re healthier, you wear them to say that you’re a gamer. But it’s a more serious conversation for us, one that’s really focused on eye health.
No one asked to be identified by pizza, neon lights, and yellow glasses. That was started by some of these brands in and around gaming. Now we’re seeing a shift away from that image in marketing. And we think that one of the last steps for us as a gaming community is to pay better attention to sleep.
What else would you say really separates you from your competitors in gaming eyewear?
Reedy: I developed an anti-fog spray for people who wear glasses inside of VR headsets. That shows the intention. It’s eye products that genuinely help gamers.
We are now the top anti-fog spray in the world. We became one of the best PPE products on all of Amazon because of what we were trying to do for people in the gaming industry. And if it wasn’t for our commitment to only releasing products that really do work, we wouldn’t be in that position.
Our commitment to quality and our ability to shift quickly, to search out best-in-class materials and products, that’s why we’re becoming the best-recognized gaming eyewear brand in addition to the success we’ve had on Amazon and elsewhere.