According to our previous study on Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) (i.e., altered sensorial perceptions, automatic mental processes and involuntary behaviours with game content) we found that most gamers have experienced GTP.
97% of our self-selected sample reported that they had experienced GTP at some point of their life.
The more common GTP reported were: i) visualized or seen video game images with closed eyes, ii) heard music from the game when not playing, iii) wanted to use video game elements in real life contexts and iv) involuntarily said something with contents from the game.
It was unexpected to find such a high prevalence of GTP. Certainly, the findings raised numerous questions.
How could it be that we found such a large prevalence in a non-self-selected sample?, what would be the prevalence if GTP is framed in a particular time period rather than during gamers whole life?, what would be the prevalence in a pathological sample or with actual drug users?
In our sample the majority of the participants did not suffer from any medical conditions, neither had most ever consumed drugs or were under the influence of a substance (medicament or drug) when they experienced GTP.
Most of the questions I mentioned above cannot be answered with our current data; however, we could answer what characterize those gamers who experienced a severe level of GTP.
Comparative analysis between the mild, moderate and severe levels of GTP showed interesting results (n=2281).
The majority of the participants showed mild level of GTP (57.8%), then moderate level (35.6%), and least had severe level (6.6%).
The factors significantly associated with the severe level of GTP were the following:
- being student
- being aged 18 to 22 years
- being a professional gamer
- playing video games every day in sessions of 6 hours or longer
- playing to escape from the real world
- having a sleep disorder, mental disorder or reported dysfunctional gaming
- having experienced distress or dysfunction due to GTP.
In addition, having used drugs and experienced flashbacks as side-effects of drug use were significantly less likely to be reported by those with mild level of GTP.
Moreover, in a regression analysis, predictors of severe GTP included:
- positive appraisals of GTP
- distress or dysfunction due to GTP
- tendency to recall dreams.
In general, the findings suggest that those with a severe level of GTP share characteristics with profiles of gamers with dysfunctional gaming (e.g., problematic and/or addictive gaming).
To get the full picture and the interpretation of the findings you are welcome to check our study published in the Computer in Human Behaviour.