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According to a Study, Gamers are at Risk for Gaming Disorders and Hallucinations

By: Alyssa Hong

According to studies, devoted gamers are susceptible to a condition that makes them hallucinate sounds or pictures from the games they play. Teenagers who spend all day playing video games have reported hearing narration and seeing "health bars" above other people's heads.

The disorder known as gaming transfer phenomenon, or GTP, which can cause gamers to see things that are not really there, was recently discussed at a gathering of psychiatrists from Australia and New Zealand.

Gamers with gaming disorder (GD), who cannot stop playing video games and will even miss meals and sleep so they can keep playing, are assumed to have the illness.

According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), incidences of GD have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic and are thought to affect 10 percent of young people. A GD clinic was established at Perth's Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) in 2021 to address the growing problem.

According to psychiatrist Kavita Seth, the issues start when players become so engrossed in their games that they are unable to stop themselves from playing and become irate if someone tries to intervene.

“They prioritize it over sleep, over having meals, going to school, completing school homework, completing social activities,” Dr. Seth said. When gamers begin to see or hear game-related content long after setting down their controllers, some GD patients may develop GTP.

The term "GTP" is credited to psychologist Dr. Angelica Ortiz de Gortari for coming up with it while conducting a study in 2010. “When I really was a hardcore player in WoW (World of Warcraft), when I got my adrenaline pumping, I started seeing health bars above people’s heads,” the gamer said. She asserted that GTP is a compelling reason to consider how well the human mind would adapt as technology develops.

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