A study on gamers has revealed that some players blur the boundaries between reality and game world.
Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University have released the results of a study into what researchers are calling Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP). The study interviewed 42 gamers between the ages of 15 and 21, who told stories of thinking the same way in real life as they had whilst playing games on their PCs and consoles.
Along with thoughts of engaging actions they had previously used in a game, like using special abilities and weapons to open doors in the real world, imagining menu systems to select choices, with a few participants reported thinking 'criminal thoughts' which included daydreaming about going on a destructive rampage to reenact the open-world gaming experience of games like the Grand Theft Auto series; a 'sandbox' game in which players can choose to act in an amoral way if they choose to.
Others reported fantasies about 'wrecking things and killing people' when driving. Professor Mark Griffiths, co author of the study, said that there were possible mental health implications for 'intensive' gamers. "Almost all the players reported some type of GTP, but in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity,” he told The Press Association.
"A recurring trend suggests that intensive gaming may lead to negative psychological, emotional or behavioral consequences, with enormous implications for software developers, parents, policy makers and mental health professionals."