Research: Some Players Continue Game Experience in the Real World

Here's one of the oddest research studies I have come across in a long time involving gamers. According to research from Nottingham Trent University (UK) and Stockholm University (Sweden) some gamers are so immersed in the games they play that when they stop they transfer their experiences into the real world. Researchers are calling this odd phenomenon "Game Transfer Phenomena," or "GTP."

The most extreme examples of GTP involve players claiming that they reach for a "search button" when looking for someone in a crowd or see energy bars near people's heads. Some of the players surveyed also claimed that they felt the need to press buttons even when a controller was not in their hands or they would visualize menus of topics to think about.

"We believe this is the first study to attempt to explore game transfer phenomena, and these initial findings have proved extremely interesting," said Professor Mark Griffiths, one of the report's authors. "Almost all the players reported some type of GTP, but in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity. We are now following this up with a further study of a much larger number of gamers."

"A recurring trend suggests that intensive gaming may lead to negative psychological, emotional or behavioural consequences, with enormous implications for software developers, parents, policy makers and mental health professionals," he added.

The research was conducted by researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University and involved 42 players ages 15-21 years-old. The study will be published in the next issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.

Source: Google

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  1. 0
    DorthLous says:

    Why is this called a video game effect? I had for years reached for ctrl-z and esc, probably the only two other effects I've ever witnessed except maybe pixelization of the real life. Those are all related to my extensive use of computers, yes, but not really of video games.

  2. 0
    SpencerRuler says:

    It's nothing new, and is an extremely visible phenomena when you switch from playing one video game to another. Almost every time I switch from playing BFBC2 to TF2 or vice versa, it takes me a long while before dropping the habits of the previous game. I'm guessing the same applies to when you stop playing entirely to a much lesser extent.

    Or it's like when you hear a sound similar to your alarm clock, it makes you more alert to it because you're used to that sound waking you up.

  3. 0
    beemoh says:

    I was unfortunate enough to get shot the other day.

    Luckily, I realised in time that hiding behind a rock wasn't going to solve anything and called an ambulance.


  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    They interviewed only 42 people and yet came across several who "reach for a "search button" when looking for someone in a crowd," "see energy bars near people's heads," feel "the need to press buttons even when a controller was not in their hands," or "visualize menus of topics to think about"?

    Methinks some of these kids were pulling their leg.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    Daelda says:

    This is not unique to gaming in any way. I've tried to fast-forward live TV, even when I wasn't watching a TV with a TiVo attached. You just get acclimated to certain parameters and your mind refers to them by habit. This is how our minds work. It doesn't mean that "ZOMG! Gaming is making kids mindless zombies!" or that kids are going to start acting like the real world is a video game.

  6. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Nothing unusual or unexpected about this.  The brain builds connections by association, so if you have an action in a game (esp if it uses muscle memory) then you will have a certain path light up whenever that action is preformed or desired.   This has been explored when soldiers return from war before in things like driving patterns.. and is old news when it comes to text.

    The visual element is a little new, but not by much.

  7. 0
    Necromancerxd says:

    Ever do homework and try using Ctrl + F on a textbook? Usually happens to me after i have been on the PC for along time.

    Try playing a colorful game for about six hours and step outside. Kinda the same thing.

  8. 0
    Hmm says:

    How bizarre.  But I'm sure this would have to be extreme "intensive gaming".  And I wonder how soon after playing games the phenomenon occurs and how long it persists.  (A few minutes? An hour? A day?)

  9. 0
    captain_cthulhu says:

    this is what happens in The Lawnmower Man! He spends so much time in virtual reality he brings it back with him into reality!

    i for one welcome our new GTP overlords!

  10. 0
    olstar18 says:

     I fail to see how imagining that your going through a menu while doing something is bad. And as for the part about pushing a button its no different than someone going through an intense work out regime finding their arm trying to do the movement from whatever exercise  involuntarily.

  11. 0
    fyreblaize says:

    42 players ages 15-21 years-old.


    Clearly the face of the video game consumer market. Will researchers ever discover that the average age of gamers now is double​ this age group?

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