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SOME video game players are so immersed in their virtual environment that when they stop playing they transfer their experiences into the real world, according to new research.
The study found evidence of Game Transfer Phenomena, which results in gamers doing things in the real world as if they were still playing.
The most extreme examples included reaching for a search button when looking for someone in a crowd and seeing energy boxes appear above people's heads.
Half of the gamers questioned said they often look to use something from a video game to resolve a real-life issue.
In some cases these thoughts were accompanied by reflexes such as reaching to click a button on the controller even when it is not in their hands.
One interviewee reported seeing a menu of topics that were available for him to think about, while another created a list of possible responses in their head after being insulted.
"We believe this is the first study to attempt to explore game transfer phenomena, and these initial findings have proved extremely interesting,” said Professor Mark Griffiths, one of the authors of the report.
"Almost all the players reported some type of GTP, but in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity. We are now following this up with a further study of a much larger number of gamers.
"A recurring trend suggests that intensive gaming may lead to negative psychological, emotional or behavioural consequences, with enormous implications for software developers, parents, policy makers and mental health professionals."
The research carried out by Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University involved 42 interviews with frequent video game players aged between 15 and 21.
The study will be published in the next issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.
I've actually had this happen a couple times. I don't remember the actual events, but I had the thought when something went wrong to just delete and start over. I
immediately realized that was impossible though. So I can see people going even further with it in their minds.