Visualizing or seeing video game images with closed eyes has been one of the most common experiences reported by gamers in the GTP studies to date (1,2).
In fact, in a survey with a self-selected sample of over 2,000 gamers, 77% reported such phenomenon (2).
Recurrent afterimages of game elements has typically been reported when trying to fall asleep. They also manifest when blinking or closing the eyes. When the afterimages are experienced during the stage of being awake or falling asleep they are referred to as hypnagogic images (3,4).
Some gamers have reported sleep deprivation and feeling annoyed, while others has been mesmerised considering the visuals a creative experience. Particularly when full replays of the game take place, or when the multisensory choreography of visuals, sounds, and involuntary movements are the result of synaesthesic experiences.
Hypnagogic images are relatively common among the general population (5), and they can include recognizable images seen during the day, or ambiguous and abstract contents (3).
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1) Ortiz de Gortari AB, Griffiths MD. Altered visual perception in Game Transfer Phenomena: An empirical self-report study. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 2014;30(2):95-105.
2) Ortiz de Gortari AB, Griffiths MD. Prevalence and characteristics of Game Transfer Phenomena. ITAG 2015: Interactive Technologies and Games – Education, Health and Disability. Nottingham, UK2015.
3) Mavromatis A. (2010) Hypnagogia: The unique state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. London: Thyrsos Press.
4) Gurstelle EB, de Oliveira JL. Daytime parahypnagogia: a state of consciousness that occurs when we almost fall asleep. Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(2):166-8. Epub 2004/02/14.
5) Ohayon MM, Roth T. Prevalence of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in the general population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2002;53(1):547-54.