Study: Playing games can bleed into real-life perception, behavior

Playing games can affect our behavior and visual perception in real life, according to a new study published last month in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.

The study came from psychologist Mark D. Griffiths and doctoral researcher Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari, both of Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, U.K. The authors collected testimonials posted in online forums about the aftereffects of gaming in order to study them and explain why they occur.

Griffiths and Ortiz de Gortari gathered a total of 656 posts from 483 different gamers from 54 forums. One individual described playing Dance Dance Revolution and seeing scrolling arrows when they closed their eyes. Another said the Mass Effect dialogue wheel would pop up in their mind when they talked to someone in real life. And one person said they sometimes confused airplanes in the sky with UAVs after sessions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Based on the posts, the researchers concluded, "Intensive playing can result in misperceptions and visual distortions of real-life objects and environments, stereotypical visual experiences that arise from mind visualization and pseudo- hallucinatory experiences with video game content." They refer to such experiences as "visual game transfer phenomena" (VGTP). According to Griffiths and Ortiz de Gortari, VGTP can occur while playing, right after playing or at some point in the future, and "suggests in the most of the cases a relationship between the video games' visual effects and the gamers' altered visual perceptions."

The authors acknowledged the limitations of their methods in the study, such as the fact that the data was self-reported by the players and that they did not provide any demographic information. Griffiths and Ortiz de Gortari did not present any conclusions about the possible hazards of VGTP, such as experiencing it while driving; they said only that further research is needed.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker