Technological advances, a commitment to cinema-esque story telling, and more interactive experiences are making video games more realistic every day. But is that a good thing?
A report from Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University details the effects of Games Transfer Phenomena (GTP), which includes trying to take experiences from the game world and utilise them in real life (via BBC Newsbeat).
Examples of this range from trying to “fast-forward” a boring class to fighting off urges to commit violent crimes.
The sample size of 42 gamers, ages 15-21, is rather small, but almost half of the responders said they had experienced GTP effects “to varying degrees.”
One respondent described how excessive gaming had left him confused on what he had done that day:
“I was badly addicted to GTA and people would ask me what I did today, I would think I’ve been out but I’ve been sat [sic] in at home.”
Gaming less helped reduce the instances of unintentional imitation or game reaction.
Professor Mark Griffiths, co-author of the report, later clarified that gamers are still able to tell the difference between game and reality, but quick “carry-over” moments can put people out of touch with the real world.
“What we’re talking about here are these kind of carry-over effects, whether they’re auditory, whether they’re tactile, whether they’re visual. And people may have a nano-second or half-a-second when they think it’s almost like they’re in a game.”
“A lot of the time people are just amused by it.”
It remains to be seen how far GTP can go, and if the effects will worsen over time with a generation that spends more and more time in front of computer screens.
The study is set to be published in the July-September 2011 issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.
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