London: A new research in Europe has found that some video game players are taking experiences from the virtual world into the real one -- prompting thoughts of "violent solutions" to their problems.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in Britain and Stockholm University in Sweden claim to have for the first time identified evidence of Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP) that results in some gamers integrating video experiences into their real lives.
According to the study, some fans of computers become so immersed in their virtual environment that they do things in the real world as if they were still playing.
The study involved 42 in-depth interviews with participants aged between 15 and 21 years old, all of whom were frequent video game players and had been recruited from gaming forums, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Almost all the participants had experienced some type of involuntary thoughts in relation to video games. They thought in the same way as when they were gaming, with half of
participants often looking to use something from a video game to resolve a real-life issue.
In some cases these thoughts were accompanied by reflexes-- such as reaching to click a button on the controller when it wasn`t in their hands -- while on other occasions gamers visualised their thoughts in the form of game menus.
Players also reported using video games for interacting with others as a form of amusement, modelling or mimicking video game content, and daydreaming about video games, says the study.
"Violent solutions to real life conflicts appeared to be used by few of the players, at least in their imaginations.
The close resemblance to real life scenarios in video games may have opened a `Pandora`s Box` for some players.
"The use of aggressive, criminal and/or violent fantasies for solving social problems was reported by a few of the players. Furthermore, some players also reported intrusive thoughts and sensations related to violence and some had even acted in order to avoid possible danger," say the researchers.
Prof Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, one of the study`s authors, said it was the first study to attempt to explore game transfer phenomena.
"Almost all the players reported some type of GTP, but in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity. We are now following this up with a further study of 2,000 gamers," he said.
The study is to be published in an upcoming edition of the `International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning`.