A large variety of video game elements and types of altered visual perceptions have been reported by gamers. Here are some of the more commonly reported visual experiences (1, 2)

A total of 181 different video game titles were associated with GTP in the visual modality, ranging from tile-matching puzzle games to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (2).

Perceiving RL environments distorted immediately after stopping playing.

Motion after-effects like. If you look at this spiral for short time you can experience a similar effect.

Visual2_Guitar Hero

Seeing video game images while trying to fall asleep.

The recurrent after-images were seen as either static or in movement. The images were seen while trying to falling asleep or every time they blinked or closed their eyes.


Visualizing or seeing video games elements when wanted to used it in RL


Seeing or visualizing video game images with open eyes

Some gamers’ visual experiences were triggered by automatic associations.

Visual1 Tetris

Some gamers have seen video game images superimposed on real life objects or just in front/corner of their eyes. Sometimes these experiences were triggered by similarities between real life stimuli and video game elements, and in other cases the images were triggered by associations between activities. We speculated that altered state of consciousness, fostered by the gamers’ relatively passive and automatic activities, facilitated the GTP (2). Anxiety and stress has been related to these experiences (1).

V7_health bars

Visual Misinterpretations

Misinterpretations of real life objects that share similarities and are presented in similar context as in the game.

Visual3 UAV

percents VGTP

In this video you can see some of the video game elements that have been related with the gamers’ experiences.

If you want to know more you can read the study Altered Visual Perception in Game Transfer Phenomena: An Empirical Self-Report Study.

(1) Ortiz de Gortari, A. B., Aronsson, K., & Griffiths, M. D. (2011). Game Transfer Phenomena in Video Game Playing: A Qualitative Interview Study. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning (IJCBPL), 1(3), 15-33.

(2) Ortiz de Gortari, A. B., & Griffiths, M. D. (2013). Altered Visual Perception in Game Transfer Phenomena: An Empirical Self-Report Study. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 30(2), 95-105.


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