"What happens when a video game begins to take on a life of its own? Is it the program’s ground-breaking artificial intelligence or something more sinister?"

The sci-fi story “Planet Alt-Sete-Nine – The Lost Princess” immerses us in an adventure of conflicted realities; the real world and the game world. B.J. Neblett builds up the erratic behaviour of his main character inspired by the findings in the research into Game Transfer Phenomena. The story effectively resonates the concerns and opinions about video games and Game Transfer Phenomena.

"Choose your reality carefully"

Thank you B. J. for the copy of your book and your wise dedication!
Delighted that my research could inspire your creative mind!

Book review

The book has a fascinating story, describing the intervening realities of our world and the game world through the eyes of Haylee and her in-game character Cailey; how the game blends into reality with Haylee taking more of the game with her, to the apartment and life she shares with Jake. The character development is well acted out, with Jake’s desperation and how he reaches out to his close friends begging for help, not to mention the transformation of Haylee.

Jake and his colleagues believe they have created the perfect game, which can evolve itself due to clever AI implementation. This is extra evident in the hands of Haylee, Jake’s girlfriend, who plays the game in unexpected ways that seems to cross the border between reality and fantasy. Haylee is acting like a tester of the games that Jake creates, testing out them on the game system in their apartment. Although with this latest game, Haylee seems to become way too immersed and engrossed in the game. She only plays the game and nothing else, stops going to the school she teaches at and experiencing periods of confusions and even memory loss. After a very long playing session, she confuses her boyfriend with an enemy from the game and freaks out.

In the book, there is a side-story going on, following the character that Haylee plays in the game, called Cailey. She is on a mission to find someone, in hard-to-reach location. The reader follows Cailey’s adventures and encounters on Planet Alt-Sete-Nine.

After Haylee’s strange behaviours, Jake takes her to a psychologist, to try to understand what is going on with her. Based on Jake’s description of Haylee’s confusions, the psychologist tells him that she is experiencing Game Transfer Phenomena when events, sensations and behaviours are transferred to the real world.

A much recommended read! 

(Review courtesy Anders Alcén)


Relevant facts about Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP)

  • GTP is common among gamers (82-96% experience GTP at least once during the last 12 months or in their life; N>6,000, 15–60 years old).
  • Most gamers who experience GTP have never used drugs; nor do they have a mental or neurological condition. However, mental disorders and drug use increase the propensity to experience GTP.
  • More gamers appraised GTP as pleasant (25.9%) compared to unpleasant (5.4%) and more than one-fifth (21.2%) wanted GTP to occur again.
  • Most gamers have reported no negative consequences due to GTP. Although, a substantial minority (16%) reported medium to high levels of negative consequences and when GTP was severe (i.e. many times and in several forms), 58% of gamers reported associated distress and/or dysfunction.
  • Gaming disorder and problematic smartphone use have been found to be predictors of GTP.
    Confusion and sleep deprivation due to GTP are recurrently reported.
  • Most gamers are not under the influence of a substance (e.g., medicine, psychoactive substance) when they experience GTP.
  • Most common forms of GTP include hearing music from the game after playing, seeing game images with closed eyes and having thoughts about using video game elements in the real world.

Do you want to read more about GTP? Check out our papers.

Do you have specific questions about GTP? Email me.

Do you want your community to learn more about GTP? Book a time with me to discuss how I can help. 

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