To date qualitative (N>1,000) and quantitative (N>6,000) studies have mainly focused on:
• Identifying and defining the forms of GTP, and their characteristics.
• Understanding the relationship between GTP and gaming-habits, demographics, psychopathology factors, executive functions, immersion, game-related activities, and dreams.

I have also examined GTP in the location-based augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go.

Other researchers have investigated the relationship between GTP and dreams (Jayne Gackenbach), and GTP in the location-based augmented reality mobile game Ingress (Cynthia M. Sifonis).

The research on GTP:

  • considers all human senses(e.g., sight, hearing, touch). GTP can manifest in a single sensory modality, multisensory (e.g., seeing video game elements while hearing the music from the game) or across sensory modalities (e.g., seeing images from the game triggered by hearing a word from the game).
  • establishes the differences between voluntary/self-generated phenomena and involuntary/non-self-generated phenomena (e.g., using slang from video games for amusement vs. saying something involuntary from the game).
  • establishes the differences between endogenous and exogenous phenomena (e.g., seeing images with closed eyes, hearing sounds in the head vs. seeing images with open eyes, hearing sounds coming from objects associated with the game or nowhere) since research suggests that the psychological and potential risks of GTP depend thereupon.

Research phases

Phase 1 (2010): Master research thesis at Stockholm University in Sweden  “Game Transfer Phenomena in video game playing: A qualitative interview study”. Interviews with 42 Swedish frequent gamers (15-21 years old). Supervised by professor Karin Aronsson.

Phase 2 (2011 – 2015): PhD on GTP at Nottingham Trent University in UK, “Exploring Game Transfer Phenomena: A multimodal research approach for investigating video games’ effects”, supervised by professor Mark D. Griffiths.

Qualitative data (N>1,000), and quantitative data from surveys with over 2,000 gamers. The aims were to identify and define the manifestations of GTP (visual, auditory, thoughts and behaviours) and for the first time examine the prevalence and characteristics of GTP.

Phase 3 (2016-2018): Postdoc funded by the European Union (Marie Curie fellowship COFUND) and University of Liège in Belgium with my mentor professor Frank Larøi.

This phase focused on examining the broader dimensions of GTP, the relationship between GTP and involuntary phenomena with no-game content, psychopathology and executive functions.

Other projects that involve GTP:

  • Longitudinal study on esport gamers. The eSportNS.

Our eSportNS project funded by the Center for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE) at the University of Bergen consists of a longitudinal study that follows esports students at Nordic schools to understand the impact of their esports education on their well-being.

2 thoughts on “About the research

  1. I recently experienced this playing Portal 2, exactly as listed in the articles. It was to the point that it interrupted my sleeping patterns. It felt as if my body went to sleep but my mind was still working. It seems to happen in games with frequent sidekick interaction, or a narrator (i.e. GlaDos’ steady stream of speech, the backpack/water gun in Super Mario Sunshine, Navi’s oft mocked “HEY!”).

    I remember specifically on another occasion, after Super Mario Sunshine came out that I could not sleep for a full night for nearly a week after playing it. That was the worst. I’ve never had anything bleed into my waking life though, but could see that possibly happening to a person that plays video games more frequently.

    I’m glad you’re studying and writing about this, as I have noted it in my daily life and have been confused as to what was happening on those sleepless nights.

  2. Thank you sharing your experience!

    I have heard other people also experience some GTP with Portal and Portal 2, but I havent had chance to try those games myself yet. Hopefully soon 🙂

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