Research carried out by Nottingham Trent University, and which is soon to be published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning, says that hardcore video gamers are having trouble distinguishing the real world from the virtual one.

Having polled an astounding 42 gamers aged between 15-21, some of the most extreme cases of what they're calling Game Transfer Phenomena include seeing conversation menus during a real life conversation, trying to use a controller even when you're not using one and just generally looking for stuff from a gaming world to help them get around real-world problems.

Some of the affected even saw "energy boxes" appear over people's heads.

The researchers say "A recurring trend suggests that intensive gaming may lead to negative psychological, emotional or behavioural consequences, with enormous implications for software developers, parents, policy makers and mental health professionals."


Earth to gamer, come in gamer: Video games are warping your view of reality [news]

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