I’m just going to brag about something for a second. I am really good at Photo Hunt. Excellent, you might even say. If the Sports Depot in Allston, Massachusetts, still existed, you’d see that my friend Chrissy and I were straight-up champions circa 2006. (Hi Chrissy!)
Play enough of this bar-top touch-screen game—it requires looking at two almost-identical side-by-side images and racing the clock to identify a handful of anomalies—and you learn a few key tricks. That’s because many of the photos are altered in the same way. You should always look for slight differences in the length of a person’s sleeves or pant legs, check to see if there’s an extra pouf to someone’s hair, and keep your eyes peeled for missing windowpanes and extra-long shadows in landscape scenes.
There is, it turns out, a much more straightforward way to ace this game. “There’s a technique for Photo Hunt,” said Corbin Cunningham, a graduate fellow in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins. “If you cross your eyes and combine the images like a stereogram, the differences pop out. All you have to do is cross your eyes to overlap the images.”
This, apparently, is a thing that people know. Or, at least, this one other guy, deemed by Esquire to be the world’s best Photo Hunt player in 2009. After he was dumped by his college girlfriend, the magazine reported, Dennis Just turned to the videogame and figured out he was exceptionally good at the eye-crossing trick. (That said, “it's harder than it sounds,” Esquire cautioned.)