Absurd associations carried over from video games

I just found this video on Kotaku, originally created by BuzzFeedVideo. Check it out, is pretty funny and creative, and in fact it comes in handy to help me explain GTP experiences that occur by associations between real life stimuli and video game experiences.

There are a bunch of in-game activities such as searching for items, strafing, sneaking, climbing, jumping over things, walking through walls that are absurd and mostly impossible in real life. These activities are usually associated with certain elements in the game. Buildings that are climbable, menus are for talking to someone, fire places to buy items, cut down bushes to find items, roll over objects to become bigger etc. Also, some items have a function in the game; mushrooms to become bigger, plants to restore energy, text boxes for getting feedback, etc.

Through repetition in-game we learn these absurd associations. Therefore when some gamers in real life context encounter elements that have been simulated in the game or that somehow reminds them of their game experiences they respond automatically to these stimuli. I refer to these elements as ‘evocative objects’, which can trigger thoughts, emotions, sensations and perceptions. Some gamers have heard or seen something from the game; others have experienced automatic thoughts, urges, or involuntary movements of fingers and in extreme cases impulsive responses.

We actually constantly establish automatic associations in our daily life with all type of contents, but we do not notice them most of the time; the bizarreness of some video games’ contents is what calls our attention.


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 January 18, 2014, in Game parody, Reflexions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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