The altered perceptions modality include phenomena manifesting as sensorial experiences or sensations (e.g., hearing, seeing), and include non-volitonal phenomena that is explained either by physiological, perceptual or cognitive mechanism, or by the interplay of all of them. It is referred to as altered perceptions because physical stimuli are perceived different or distorted and video game elements that are not present are perceived in real life context. In some cases, perceptual experiences (e.g., visual, auditory, tactile hallucinations) in this modality are triggered by gaming related cues in day-to-day contexts via priming mechanism.

  • Visual GTP experiences  was defined as misperceptions and visual distortions of real life objects and environments, and stereotypical visual experiences that arise from mind visualization, and pseudo-hallucinatory phenomena where video game images were visualized or seen with close or open eyes. These phenomena can also manifest as cross-sensorial or multisensory phenomena, and can be triggered by automatic associations between real life stimuli and events, and video game elements.




  • Body altered perceptions and sensations experiences: motion sickness (e.g., sensations of movement), tactile hallucinations (e.g., vibrations, feeling pushing buttons or keywords), altered perception of time (e.g., feeling the time has slow down), out of body/subjective sensations of unreality (e.g., feel the mind disconnect from the body), uncoordinated body movements, stiffness, etc.


  • Auditory experiences were defined as hearing auditory cues from the game (sound, music, voices) in the head or as externalized, episodically or continuously, as well as misinterpreting auditory cues from real life context by something from the game. The gamers’ experiences were categorized as: (i) Involuntary auditory imagery, (ii) auditory verbal hallucinations, (iii) inner speech, (iv) auditory misperceptions, (v) auditory adaptations, and (v) multi-sensorial experiences.

These experiences include phenomena such as inner-speech, involuntary auditory imagery, auditory neural adaptation, and auditory verbal pseudo-hallucinations.

Involuntary auditory imagery: The gamers re-experienced music, sounds, and/or voices from the game. These experiences manifested either episodically or persistently, were heard in the head, in the ear or appeared as coming from external sources, or from nowhere. They appeared when being exposed to multiple external stimuli in day-to-day settings or to limited stimuli while trying to sleep.


Inner speech: Here, the players heard internal voices as inner speech. Sometimes the voices were regulated by ongoing activities. Some of these were triggered by associations while others were not. Inner speech could manifest as voice commands in the head of gamers. Also, some gamers completed phrases in their mind as some sort of feedback with contents from the game when someone said something. Additionally, gamers have heard their internal thoughts preserving the phonological characteristics of the voices in the game or hear external sounds preserving the phonological characteristics from voices in the game.
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Auditory hallucinations: In these experiences the gamers did not indicate if they heard the voices in their heads and therefore these experiences were considered different than those heard in the head classified as inner speech.

Misinterpretation of real life sounds: In this category, gamers mistook a sound or speech as something from the game.

Multisensorial: Experiences where the gamers heard music from the game in their heads accompanied by body movement. They also reported seeing video game elements while hearing the music from the game but these experiences were coded in the visual modality of GTP.

Source: Ortiz de Gortari A. B. (2015) Exploring Game Transfer Phenomena: A multimodal research approach for investigating video games’ effects (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Nottingham, UK: Nottingham Trent University.

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