What characterize those with severe Game Transfer Phenomena?

According to our previous study on Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) (i.e., altered sensorial perceptions, automatic mental processes and involuntary behaviours with game content) we found that most gamers have experienced GTP.

97% of our self-selected sample reported that they had experienced GTP at some point of their life.

The more common GTP reported were: i) visualized or seen video game images with closed eyes, ii) heard music from the game when not playing, iii) wanted to use video game elements in real life contexts and iv) involuntarily said something with contents from the game.

It was unexpected to find such a high prevalence of GTP. Certainly, the findings raised numerous questions.

How could it be that we found such a large prevalence in a non-self-selected sample?, what would be the prevalence if GTP is framed in a particular time period rather than during gamers whole life?, what would be the prevalence in a pathological sample or with actual drug users?

In our sample the majority of the participants did not suffer from any medical conditions, neither had most ever consumed drugs or were under the influence of a substance (medicament or drug) when they experienced GTP.

Most of the questions I mentioned above cannot be answered with our current data; however, we could answer what characterize those gamers who experienced a severe level of GTP.

Comparative analysis between the mild, moderate and severe levels of GTP showed interesting results (n=2281).

The majority of the participants showed mild level of GTP (57.8%), then moderate level (35.6%), and least had severe level (6.6%).

The factors significantly associated with the severe level of GTP were the following:

  • being student
  • being aged 18 to 22 years
  • being a professional gamer
  • playing video games every day in sessions of 6 hours or longer
  • playing to escape from the real world
  • having a sleep disorder, mental disorder or reported dysfunctional gaming
  • having experienced distress or dysfunction due to GTP.

In addition, having used drugs and experienced flashbacks as side-effects of drug use were significantly less likely to be reported by those with mild level of GTP.

Moreover, in a regression analysis, predictors of severe GTP included:

  • positive appraisals of GTP
  • distress or dysfunction due to GTP
  • tendency to recall dreams.

In general, the findings suggest that those with a severe level of GTP share characteristics with profiles of gamers with dysfunctional gaming (e.g., problematic and/or addictive gaming).

To get the full picture and the interpretation of the findings you are welcome to check our study published in the Computer in Human Behaviour.


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 August 2, 2016, in GTP study, Summary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Old Army Broad

    Well, I’m much older than your stated age range, but I get this after playing COD Zombies on Black Ops 3. The menu music is in my head like most songs I think of, but the zombie noises are like they’re in my ears.

    Are there plans in the future to check brain wave function before and after a game session? I think it would be interesting to see if the brain is acting like it is receiving sounds.

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