Fresnel enlarges yours

Magnifying monitor madness from misunderstood Internet game-head.

A harmless Web eccentric seeking total PC gaming immersion has come up with a revolutionary invention which transforms his lowly 15" monitor into a shiny 30" visual assault -- he's glued a magnifying glass on it.

OK, so you'd think it's a silly idea thought up in a moment of clarity by a misunderstood game-head who should get out a little more, but you can't fault the guy's logic or good intentions.

Gamer John Reder knocked up the extension to his monitor in no time for under a tenner using a Fresnel lens, some black card, some black paint, a knife and some glue. He then meticulously detailed every step of his creation on a fantastic Web site so that we mere mortals could follow his lead.

Fresnel lenses are those flat, square, ridge-covered magnifying sheets most commonly used to read small print in books or maps. You may also see them on the back window of busses, in overhead projectors or in car headlamps. You can buy rigid or floppy versions in a high-street book shop for around a fiver a pop. And remember, as John points out, a 30" monitor could cost you a small fortune!

Yes. Quite.

Andy Brown, research analyst for IDC is far from convinced: "I can't imagine this can possibly be good for your eyes, for one thing, and I would imagine that orientation and co-ordination in gaming would be extremely difficult.

"I guess it does highlight the need for reduced pricing for flat panel monitors though!" he laughed.

If you have an urge to join John in his total immersion gaming experience, do check out his Web site and tell us all about it.

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