Gaming magazine Kill Screen, in collaboration with eyewear company Warby Parker, has developed a pair of exclusive glasses that combine both companies’ philosophies of design and function. The glasses, available in men’s and women’s designs with no discernable difference between the two, come in a light transparent gray color and feature the Warby Parker x Kill Screen logo engraved on the inside in red.
The glasses themselves look nice, but are unfortunately not available for Warby Parker’s signature try-before-you-buy program due to limited quantities. The style, called Burke, is available in other colors, though without the Kill Screen logo. Made with an anti-scratch and anti-reflective coating, Kill Screen claims that the glasses help reduce glare from screens, making them all the better to play with. The lenses also feature 100 percent UV protection and are made of polycarbonate for impact resistance, and the frames are built to last with durable screws and lightweight cellulose acetate.
To promote the partnership, Warby Parker and Kill Screen teamed up with Highline Games to create a simple browser game called Worbs. It’s a soothing, pretty little game in which you allow balls of vary colors to settle in a bowl, clicking them to form chain reactions that remove them and award points. Worbs is similar in concept to match-three games, though physics play a role as the balls bounce around the bowl. While the game itself isn’t particularly thrilling to play, the sounds and design are quite nice; it’s easy to pick up no matter what your skill level is, and the subtle chimes and rhythms make it quite satisfying to spend a spare ten-minute break playing.
The partnership coincided with “Vision Week” on Kill Screen, which, as of writing, sadly contains only two articles—one announcing the new frames, and the other discussing the negative effects too much screen time can have on our eyes. It’s something that’s not often talked about in games, but, with how much time we spend working, playing, and socializing with devices like computers and phones, it’s an important topic. As a glasses wearer who works with computers and spends her off-hours playing games, my eye health is probably something I should think about more often than when I see a cute new pair of frames.
Though I’m not super impressed with what the partnership has turned out beyond Worbs’ sound design—it’s perfectly functional, but not really my style from a gameplay perspective—I have to admit that the glasses look pretty nice. Maybe it’s the smoky matte gray or the nice pop of red on the inside of the frames, but I keep ogling the design even as I tell myself that I probably don’t need a pair of glasses with a videogame website logo on them, especially because being printed on the inside means that it’s hard to tell that this is a Kill Screen collaboration and not just a snazzy new pair of frames unless they’re off my face. That might be a selling point for some, but for me, I question why the interior Kill Screen logo is the only reason I’d choose to upgrade from my perfectly satisfactory pair.
You wouldn’t expect a gaming critique site and an eyewear design company to make both a game and a pair of glasses that are both aesthetically appealing, but the combination works; both are simple but elegant and satisfying takes on the familiar. Whether or not I end up purchasing a pair, I like the idea of companies like Warby Parker and Kill Screen, both of which do unique work in their respective fields, teaming up to make things together.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.