My colleague Åge Diseth and I have validated a new instrument to assess Game Transfer Phenomena. The study “Multidimensional assessment of Game Transfer Phenomena: Intrusive cognitions, perceptual distortions, hallucinations and dissociations” was recently published in Frontiers in Psychology.
A total of 1,301 players, the majority male, participated in the study.
The new instrument, the “Game Transfer Phenomena Multidimensional Scale (GTP-MDS)”, considers the perceived location of the GTP experiences.
I wanted to develop an instrument that facilitated the identification of the underlying physiological,
cognitive, and etiological mechanics involved in GTP. Therefore, the study proposes an alternative classification of players’ experiences more meticulously, based on considering the wide spectrum of involuntary phenomena, which include thoughts, imagery, misperceptions, perceptual distortions, hallucinations, and dissociations.
The GTP-MDS differentiates players’ experiences manifesting as endogenous phenomena “inner intrusions” such as mind visualizations, seeing images with closed eyes, hearing music/sounds in the head, from exogenous phenomena manifesting externalized “outer intrusions” such as seeing images with open eyes, seeing objects/environment distorted, hearing sound/music outside the head. It also assesses corporal adaptations and dissociations such as sensations of still being in the game environment, tactile sensations, and changes in body perception.
- The prevalence of GTP was of 95.2% (experiencing some form of GTP at least once during the last 12 months).
- Phenomena manifesting as internal experiences were more common, while those manifesting as externalized intrusions were less common.
- Separate confirmatory factor analyses of the dimensions of “inner intrusions/misperceptions,” “outer intrusions/distortions,” and “dissociations/mix-ups” produced acceptable fit indices.
- Most participants reported inner intrusions (94.7%), three out of four reported dissociations/mix-ups (76.5%), and almost half reported outer phenomena (49.3%).
- Most participants reported a positive impact of GTP (86.9%), while only 36.3% reported some negative impact on daily functioning.
- Distress was correlated with outer intrusions and dissociations/mix-ups, but not with inner intrusions.
- Players who experienced GTP were also susceptible to experience general involuntary phenomena without game content such as hallucinations and perceptual distortions.
- Associations were also found between GTP and game-biased perceptions such as associating physical places with game content.
The original GTP scale comprised 20 items and assessed GTP in different sensory modalities (visual, auditory and body experiences), thoughts and behaviours. The scale has been validated in the English, Turkish and Polish languages. Follow this link to read more about that scale.
If you want a copy of the items of any of the scales developed or are interested in validating in another language, please email me.
Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) refers to a cluster of involuntary phenomena related to playing videogames, including sensory and cognitive intrusions, transient changes in perception and self-agency. The Game Transfer Phenomena Scale (GTPS) has been used to measure the frequency of GTP with respect to five factors. The present study aimed to validate an instrument for assessing the multiple dimensions of GTP (GTP-MDS) that helps clarify the distinction between GTP experiences. GTP were contextualized onto the spectrum of intrusive cognitions, perceptual distortions, and dissociations. The relationship between GTP, involuntary phenomena without game content (INVWG) in terms of, e.g., hallucinations and perceptual distortions, and game-biased perceptions (GBPA), as well as the positive and negative impact of GTP and level of distress were also examined. The data were collected using a survey (N = 1,301, male 83.4%, mean age = 28.14). Separate confirmatory factor analyses of the dimensions of “inner intrusions/misperceptions,” “outer intrusions/distortions,” and “dissociations/mix-ups” produced acceptable fit indices. The findings show that phenomena manifesting as internal experiences are more common, while those manifesting as externalized intrusions are less common. Correlations between the GTP dimensions, INVWG, and GBPA, such as the insertion of game elements in thoughts, perceptions, and dreams, supported convergent validity. The correlations between the GTP dimensions and hours played supported criterion validity. Distress was correlated with outer intrusions and dissociations/mix-ups, but not with inner intrusions. Taken together, these results support the validity and reliability of the proposed assessment of GTP constructs.