Gamers have reported a variety of visual Game Transfer Phenomena experiences. These include perceptual distortions of objects or environments, mind visualizations and pseudo-hallucinations where gamers have seen images from the game floating in the back of their eyelids or in front of their eyes.

Interestingly, while many gamers have simply seen the video game images either static or in movement, others claim they have even replayed full game sessions in their mind.

Also, some gamers said they could induce perceptual distortions based on elements from the game.

Being able to control visual sensory information that arise spontaneously, usually without our awareness more than deliberately imagining or visualizing video game segments is very challenging.

According to research, hypnagogic visual hallucinations (when images are seen at sleep onset) disappear when the individual tries to control the images. However, can visuospatial skills (e.g. mental rotation) and visual memory typically attributed to frequently playing video games contribute to exercise some control over the images?

I wonder to what degree gamers can actually control their visual experiences?

The control can include prolonging the duration of visuals, moving the images, replaying the game, and inducing the images.

It is important to make clear that there is a difference between imagining the video game images than experiencing the sensation of seeing coloured afterimages and shapes in the back of the eyelids.

If you look at a bright lamp for a short period, you will get an afterimage. You can also easily see a negative afterimage (with opposite colour) by looking at the cross in the centre of the image below.


Further readings

Ortiz de Gortari, A. B., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014a). Altered visual perception in Game Transfer Phenomena: An empirical self-report study. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 30(2), 95-105.
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 1(3), 15-33.