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Overview

Night Vision Goggles are generally worn by military and defence personnel, and allow the wearer to effectively "see in the dark". They do this by picking up any ambient light in an area, and intensifying it. The varying types of night vision are classed in to separate "generations"; with Generation 0 being a simple illumination device and Generation 4 being a high-resolution binocular-type headset, commonly used by military forces today. Night vision goggles also typically have other attachments to to them to aid in their overall use, such as telescopic lenses.

Usage in Games

Arguably the most famous use of night vision goggles in a game is by Sam Fisher of the Splinter Cell series. The majority of missions carried out by Fisher occur in near-darkness, and so wearing night-vision goggles in these circumstances puts him at a great advantage. The exploitation of darkness and shadows is key in Splinter Cell, and this would be far more difficult without night vision. However, in his most recent expedition, Splinter Cell: Conviction, night-vision goggles are absent. This fact was debated at length on the Bombcast prior to the game's release, with a bet being placed on whether or not Sam Fisher would use his trademark goggles. What actually appeared in the game was Sonar Goggles, which allowed the player to see through walls.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of night vision are:
  • The ability to see in near-total darkness.
  • Possessing better vision than the enemy, thus putting him at a disadvantage.
  • Increased mobility as a result of improved vision.

However there are some disadvantages that night vision presents:
  • Lack of color/clarity.
  • Limited field of vision.
  • Necessity of an additional power source.

Sound

Contrary to their portrayal in many video games, night vision goggles do not make a sound, high-pitched whine or otherwise, when activated.

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