The fixated nature of the brain & Game Transfer Phenomena

For years, I have been enthralled about the nature of repetition. I have observed how babies enjoy throwing objects repeatedly, playing hide and seek with persons and objects again and again, not to mention the joy adolescents find in watching the same movie several times (I did it in my time), and the pleasure of playing a video game task until you can dominate it (the Super Mario Bros.U really have me!). Master, control and intent to overcome and resolve a trauma in fantasy sceneries Freud might have said. Self-actualization Maslow might have remarked.

This video of a dog throwing and catching a ball really speed up my thoughts.

Interestingly, repetition and intrusiveness are a crucial features of numerous nonvolitional phenomena addressed in the GTP studies, such as auditory replays of music (earworms), recurrent (pseudo) hallucinations, flashbacks, obsessive thoughts, compulsions, stereotypical behaviours, perseverative responses, repetitive dream content, etc, etc. As you can see, the list is long. Many of these are symptoms of pathologies but non-clinical population can also experience these phenomena at some point to a certain degree. Resonances of the uncontrolled and fixated nature of the brain. The pleasure and the pain of the compulsive repetition.

I seriously never thought I was getting in such deep waters when I started researching about GTP, but I hope it can help us to gain some insights into these phenomena.

As far as I have understood by examining gamers’ experiences. GTP show us how the exposure to a novel stimuli can stimulate and over-stimulate our senses, and how rewarding can be trying to defeat a challenging task by playing a game repeatedly, to the degree that the brain struggles to get detached once we stop playing,  resulting in revivals of a stimulus (e.g., visual, auditory) even in its absence.

Maybe the brain does not want to lose any opportunity to be aroused. Not only are video game images seen, auditory cues heard, stereotypical thoughts with game content experienced by susceptible gamers during the sensory deprivation of the eyelids covering the eyes, but also, when gamers on days with a blue and cloudless sky come across real life stimuli associated with the game, evocative objects, which elicit replays of the game. Incomplete and unresolved situations that revolve our mind.


About Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari

Dr. Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari is Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research fellow in Cyberpsychology. Critical inquiry on the psychosocial implications of interactive media technologies has been her professional passion since undergraduate school, when she conducted one of the first studies on internet addiction. Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) is her area of research expertise, for which she has won awards. Dr. Ortiz de Gortari’s research has been featured in different media worldwide including Discovery News, History Channel News, BBC World Service, the New Scientist and the International Herald Tribune. Her research on GTP has even inspired an episode of the TV series CSI: Cyber. She has published academically and presented at several international conferences. The goal of her research is maximizing the psychological and social benefits of interactive virtual technologies while reducing the potential risks it can present to some individuals.

Posted on November 20, 2013, in GTP, Reflections and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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