The imminent arrival of more highly immersive technologies for entertainment brings exciting possibilities for gamers, developers and researchers. As a gamer, I’m looking forward to get my own head mountain display, but it also raises important questions regarding the impact on wellbeing.

Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), a research approach focusing on understanding the psychosocial effects of video game playing by examining non-volitional phenomena (e.g., altered sensorial perceptions, automatic mental processes, involuntary motoric activations and behaviours related to playing video games), suggests similarities between gamers’ experiences reported after playing on conventional devices and post-effects of highly immersive technologies (e.g.,
head-mounted displays).

The aim of this talk was to discuss the challenges and opportunities highly immersive technologies posit to the malleable human mind, taking into account not only the post-effects of the virtual immersion manifesting as physical symptoms, but also the psychosocial implications.

Understanding the possible post-effects of virtual reality and immersive technologies is important. I hope my “a head of time” talk motivates at least some reflections.

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