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The aim is to investigate the impact of the Augmented Reality game
Pokémon GO on gamers´ well-being and Game Transfer Phenomena.
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Read more: Blogs related to Pokémon.
I just found out about the article “Game Transfer Phenomena: The original AR” by Sophie Turner. It was published in the magazine Unwinnable that covers video game culture, art and more. This edition is on The Body Horror. It is a magazine I will follow! Thanks for this Sophie!
I like that title! “Game Transfer Phenomena: The original AR“. It resonates with thoughts from an old post of mine:
“There are still no holograms or touch interfaces that float in front our eyes, and the Google glasses are just a small step on the way. No artificial technology is needed, only the most powerful machinery never invented, the human mind! Suddenly the real scenery of some gamers appeared tinted by colours and textures, shadows, auras around objects, menus, power bars, and pixelations.”
Here is an extract from the article in Unwinnable about GTP:
“Ever been living your mundane, day-to-day life and reached for your nonexistent
Portal gun after noticing a blank white wall or had to fight the
urge to pick through some particularly useful looking foliage for a Stimpak?
Perhaps you’ve curled up in bed after a long Tetris session and continued
seeing the game behind your eyes, or have reached for the save button in a
perilous situation before being hit by the crushing reality of living in the real
world? If so, you’ve experienced Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), and you’re
definitely not alone.
GTP is a term coined by psychologist and self-confessed gamer Angelica
B. Ortiz de Gortari, who began studying the phenomena after her own
experiences with them.”
Continue reading on page 106 in the magazine.
On the way to a dinner my boyfriend and I decided to catch some Pokémon. After a couple of encounters we felt we needed to catch them all on our way to the restaurant. Suddenly, some of our old basic primal instincts as hunters and collectors have been brought back thanks to Augmented Reality. Fortunately, we were too hungry to keep going.
We found a Poké stop at a restaurant/bar where I used to meet with my old PhD colleagues. I was quite excited when I realized we could find something there.
By using the real world as a platform, Augmented Reality can make the game coincide with places that are already meaningful to us and this makes the experience even more rewarding.
Later, on the way back home I noticed how tall a pillar outside the theatre was. We had captured our third Pokémon earlier there; a rewarding experience!
Also, I could notice how I found myself paying attention to colourful stimuli while walking back home. Only a few encounters with fantastic creatures were enough to program my mind to pay attention to such stimuli. Selective attention in action!
Suddenly, one of the colours I hate the most, which is purple, became the centre of attention. “Oh, look a woman with purple hair!”, purples flowers; even a child’s toy on a stick reminded me of a Zubat!
This is our collection so far. If you notice five of the Pokémon are purple!
I’m starting to feel like the gamers that in my research on Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) reported that after playing Mirror’s Edge found themselves paying attention to red objects.
Occasionally, I was playing around asking my boyfriend “Where is it? Where is it? Take a screen shoot, take a screen shoot!” So, I was literally interacting with an invisible and virtual entity. How bizarre does this sound, right!? A consensual hallucination without a doubt!
Well in fact, some gamers do not need Augmented Reality for seeing images from the games in front of their eyes or superimposed onto real life objects. In my research on GTP gamers have stated to have seen health bars or tags above peoples’ head or above animals while others have seen images on the highway and have even followed them.
In my case the images really existed, although only seen through the mobile screen. No holograms yet! but at least HoloLens is on its way!
The best was the Pokémon close to a bin at the street of my university with a real world dove as extra enhancement!
From all the objects around my university, the one I will probably remember the best once I move from Nottingham will be the bin with a Rattata next to it. The bin at my university street has now become a meaningful evocative object for me! I’m not surprised.
In my research on GTP, I have repeatedly found how real life objects that were simulated in the game and typically associated with rewarding experiences have become evocative objects. These objects are capable to trigger spontaneous thoughts, urges, involuntary movements of limbs and even make gamers see or hear video game elements that are not actually there.
For instance, here is an example of a gamer’s GTP reacting to bottle caps after playing Fallout.
We also had some social encounters as novice explorers and hunters. We met a girl and laughed. Later on a woman that looked at us through her window shouted: “what have you caught?”
A few blocks later we saw a couple that were looking at their mobiles. We assumed they were playing but when they passed by they stopped doing it, but then I looked back and the woman and I laughed when I said “you are also playing!” It was funny. It gave me the impression that the couple was shy to show they were playing. This is interesting in terms of the controversies on the adoption of technology and particularly to play a game in public as adults!
We also meet a neighbour that I earlier in the day had seen going around looking at his mobile. He was indeed playing it as well.
I will comeback with more… Time to go to sleep. Wish me good luck because according to one of our latest studies about GTP, experiencing GTP as pleasurable is a predictor of severe GTP, as are other involuntary phenomena such as recalling dreams or experiencing earworms. I may have some Pokémon dreams!
I hope to hear about your Pokémon GO adventures!
“We play. We play a lot. And for it we see things differently than all of the people who ever came before us. Literally, we see things differently.
We of the silicon generation live in a pseudo, near constant hypnagogic state. A lucid threshold consciousness in which the vibrancies of the gamerverse shift into reality, pulling us in and out of the slipstream. The walls they come tumbling down and for a time it’s hard to distinguish between the layers.
When I put my controller down and step outside into the bright cloudless sky I can see screen-tearing, pixelation, rendering. Are these my sea legs or are these augmented realities not my realities? Am I still playing a game?
The Ancients believed that to glimpse the mystical the illusions of our world first had to be splintered. The afterworld was built on top of this world. To get at God you had to mistrust your senses. So drunkenness was next to godliness. To unhinge the mind was to set it free and to peek behind the astral curtain.
Psychology refers to it as the Game Transfer Phenomena. Visual and auditory conditioned responses. Echoes of extended gameplay. We are Pavlov’s dogs, programmed by developers to react instinctually to specific stimuli.
In other words there is no Matrix, there is no God, just a few thousand programmers elbow deep into our cerebral cortex. Our basic neurological impulses tweaked in a postproduction edit. Our brains a scramble from too many video games.
I prefer the mystical. A glimmer into something that we’ve lost in our rush toward the future. Something ancient. Something greater than
ourselves that the stimulation of video games allows us to perceive. The relativity of reality? God as programmer, arranging and rearranging
the configuration of the atoms that is us.”
We will need to wait a little bit more to have this kind of toys easily at home. (Which one do you prefere?)However, the perception of pixelated icons appears to be quite common among frequent video game players. The holograms are here!? The mind is amazing! Wait until you read the next Game Transfer Phenomena paper focusing on sensory perceptions or you can already read some of it in the book chapter An introduction to Game Transfer Phenomena