GTP is the transfer of experiences from the virtual to the physical world that can manifest as altered sensorial perceptions, sensations, automatic mental processes, behaviours and actions with video game content.

I coined the term “Game Transfer Phenomenon/a” (GTP) in my original study on GTP in 2010 to describe automatic thoughts, altered sensory perceptions and automatic behaviours transferred from the virtual and the physical world.

Game-related cues as triggers are central to most GTP, but they are not always present, or they are not always identified.

Research on GTP also pays attention to cognitions and behaviours deliberatively initiated by gamers. This is done to establish differences between voluntary and involuntary phenomena, endogenous and exogenous phenomena and, self-generated and non-self-generated phenomena since research suggests that the psychological and potential risks of GTP depend thereupon.

GTP take into account all human senses (e.g., sight, hearing, touch). They can manifest in a single sensory modality,  or across several sensory modalities (e.g., seeing video game elements while hearing the music of the game).

Research on GTP is concerned about the video games’ structural characteristics, in-game phenomena, in-game behaviours,  and playing habits.

A multimodal and eclectic framework is used to explain and understand the GTP experiences, but cognitive and behavioural psychology is mainly used to explain the gamers’ experiences.

It is important to remember that some of the experiences can be misunderstood as pathological due to their similarity with symptoms of mental conditions (e.g., hallucinations). Some individuals may be more prone to experience GTP. However, it has been found that different people have had similar experiences in the same games.

Certainly, transfer phenomena are not exclusively experienced after playing video games; the video games’ structural characteristics and the nature of the activity in the game appear to facilitate the transfer effects.

GTP tell us about everyday life cognitive abilities and automatic mental processes, physiological mechanisms. However, the studies about GTP invite us to reflect about our vulnerability to the exposure to synthetic stimuli and the challenges that the human mind affront due to the fantastic technology advances that are still to come.

List of published studies on GTP.

12 thoughts on “What is GTP

  1. I had a wierd experience of GTP in which I was experiencing GTP from one game (an online loot based game) while playing another (a wander/discovery game). I found myself getting irritated that I was incapable of finding good loot in the later game, before realizing what I was looking for was from the prior game.

  2. When I first experienced game-related hallucinations, I thought I was just young and it was my imagination. Now I’m a lot older and recently experienced some GTP. When I first looked around, I thought I was going crazy! This is amazing, I wish more people would realise how credible it is.

  3. This is happening to me after playing dead island for like 9 hours I keep hearing the music,the zombies,and the looting sound effect I’ve been hearing it all day it’s weird.

  4. Currently experiencing this now, which is how I found out about GTP. I’ve been on a three day Pokémon Leaf Green binge and I am hearing the sounds of the game. At first I thought I left my game boy on, but anytime I’d put it next to my ear I wouldn’t hear anything.

    1. I have it in my right ear from the same game lol. I’ve been bingeing it as well and was going out of my mind.

    2. I’m hearing Gameboy 8 Bit noises from Pokemon Red and Blue (Gen 1) right now as I’m attempting to get to sleep. I’ve been playing for the majority of the day and the sounds aren’t leaving my head.

  5. I literally never played video games growing up it never really interested me but recently I’ve gotten hooked on this online game my friends found and now every time I close my eyes I see the game in action and it freaks me out

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