Hi guys, instead of a game review this week, I’m going to talk about one of my favourite PhD studies: Game Transfer Phenomena because I experience it and I think it’s really interesting.
Game Transfer Phenomena is a concept coined by Dr. Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari. It relates to how gaming can effect your actions in the real world. She blogs about it and it includes some comics of situations where Game Transfer Phenomena may occur. You can read all the comics here and they’re pretty good at helping explain in a simple way what Game Transfer Phenomena is.
The comic above shows a “phenomena” that I have experienced several times in the past. It only happens when I play Advance Wars which is a grid based game. After playing for a long time, my brain is tricked into thinking that real life has “turns” and I wait for other people to take their “turn” before I take mine.
Before you ask – it doesn’t last very long, only a temporary lapse of judgement. It’s not like the media love to protray this kind of thing: “gamers can’t tell the difference between a game and real life!!!” It is nothing like that. If you read into the research about it, it’s summarised as:
And yes, these might seem like weird nonsense actions, but the other things reported are:
In fact, I bet that you have probably experienced some Game Transfer Phenomena yourself. Here is a very simple (and very common) one: getting a song stuck in your head. Even if you haven’t played Tetris in 20 years, no doubt you can remember this song and it will persist to remain “in your head” for a while.
Some other Game Transfer Phenomena that I’ve experienced:
And I’ve seen people on twitter say thing like this!
You know it’s a Friday afternoon when you try to open your front-door by opening your wallet… Christ.
— Steve Morgan (@steviephil) October 10, 2014
(Credit to Steve at SEONo – no you’re not going mental)
So, there you go, games make us do weird things sometimes and there is a study to show why. Have you ever experienced Game Transfer Phenomena? Care to tell me about it?