Feeds

Virtual and real worlds collide in gamers' minds

Boss levels... with the boss?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Some gamers are so absorbed by their virtual arenas, that even when they have come back to reality, they continue to act like they're in a videogame, new research suggests.

An initial investigation of this so-called Game Transfer Phenomenon, carried out by psychologists at the Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University, centred on interviews with 42 gamers aged between 15 and 21 all of whom claimed to have either dealt with real-world problems by reaching for a joystick, or to have seen game graphics in the real world.

Think Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Angelica Ortiz de Gortari and Professor Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, and Stockholm University's Professor Karin Aronsson, catalogue such experiences in their paper, Game Transfer Phenomena in Video Game Playing.

One gamer claimed to have witnessed the appearance of a graphical menu of topics available for him to think about. Another player saw a list of potential responses pop up after he was insulted.

A third interviewee said he found himself reaching for the R2 button on a controller to retrieve a sandwich after dropping it on the floor. A fourth participant reported seeing a maths equation appearing in a bubble above a teacher’s head and health bars hovered over players from a rival football team.

Not that all cases were so extreme. Prof Griffiths said: "Almost all the players reported some type of GTP but in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity."

The researchers conclude that "players experience intrusion in their cognitive processing and learn from videogames to react and perceive things in real-life, at least for a few seconds, in ways informed by virtual life."

The full report will be published in the next issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning. The researchers are already preparing a second study that will involve the participation of a much larger numbers in an attempt to see just how widespread GTP is. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.