Let me share with you how my passion for understanding the effects of interactive media began and how it evolved into my research on Game Transfer Phenomena.

Over fifteen years ago, when I was an undergraduate psychology student, the internet was not as accessible as it is today. When it was introduced at my university’s computer lab, many of us, including myself, were glued to the screens. At that time, I was searching for an original research topic for my thesis.

2000: My first piece of research

In 1998, I started my first academic study on the effects of interactive media. One day, while in the computer lab, we lost the internet connection, and everyone, including myself, started to complain and get upset. This incident got me thinking about the psychological impact of internet use. Eventually, I decided to research the pathological use of the Internet. However, as internet use was a new phenomenon, it took me several months to convince my teachers about my chosen topic, not to mention the struggle to find a supervisor.

Just after I conclude my thesis, I received unexpected invitations to participate in debate programmes on television and to write editorial articles for important newspaper. These experiences were incredibly positive for me as an undergraduate student, and it sparked my passion for understanding the impact of interactive technology.

2010, February: Applying the Google logic!?

In February 2010, I was searching articles on Google for my master’s thesis. During a subway ride, I found myself thinking of the unconventional logic of the Google search engine.

I even posted a question in a Facebook group; I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience while playing video games.

2010, April: My research idea began to take shape and gain momentum!

In April 2010, while pursuing my master’s degree at Stockholm University, I was looking for an original research topic for my thesis.

It was during this time that I became inspired to study gamers’ experiences with GTP (game transfer phenomenon). The idea came to me after playing Resident Evil 4, my all-time favourite game. I remembered wishing I had the game’s rifle to zoom in on something at a supermarket. This led me to wonder how common such experiences were among gamers. Thus, I embarked on a journey to conduct the first-ever study on GTP for my master’s thesis

First GTP study- Research process

1. Recruiting phase

2. Carrying out the interviews

3. The main categories of the first GTP study

I coined the term “Game Transfer Phenomenon” to refer to the transfer of experiences from the virtual world to real life”

2012: First publication of GTP

Ortiz de Gortari, A. B., Aronsson, K., & Griffiths, M. D. (2011). Game Transfer Phenomena in video game playing: A qualitative interview studyInternational Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 1(3), 15-33.

2015: PhD on GTP

The title of my PhD was “Exploring Game Transfer Phenomena: A multimodal research approach for investigating video games’ effects”

I started consolidating the area of research on GTP with three quantitative and three qualitative studies on GTP.

2016: Postdoc on GTP

“When the game is turned off but the mind keeps playing: Involuntary phenomena with video game content” was funded by the European Union (Marie Curie COFUND fellowship) and the University of Liège in Belgium. 

Read more about the project on GTP


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