If you are anything like me, you probably gave out one or two video games as presents to some of your younger relatives over the holiday season. If you did, however, you ought to be aware of the danger involved, and the potential repercussions of your actions.
Apparently, according to research carried out by academics in the UK and Sweden, some video game players are becoming so immersed in their virtual gaming environments that -- when they stop playing -- they transfer some of their virtual experiences to the real world.
That's right. Researchers led by Angelica Ortiz de Gortari and Professor Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University's International Gaming Research Unit, and Professor Karin Aronsson from Stockholm University, have revealed that some gamers experience what they call "Game Transfer Phenomena" (GTP), which results in them doing things in the real world as if they were still in the game!
Extreme examples of GTP have included gamers thinking in the same way as when they were gaming, such as reaching for a search button when looking for someone in a crowd and seeing energy boxes appear above people's heads.
Aside from the game players, though, I wonder if this research might also have some implications for software developers working in the vision systems business, many of whom also work long hours staring at computer screens, often taking their work home with them.
How many of these individuals, I wonder, also imagine that they are performing image-processing tasks when going about their daily routine? Have you, for example, ever believed that you were performing a hyperspectral analysis when considering whether or not to purchase apples in the supermarket, optical character recognition to check the sell-by date on the fruit, or even a histogram equalization on the face of the attractive young lady at the checkout line?
While Professor Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, said that he found that intensive gaming may lead to negative psychological, emotional, or behavioral consequences, the same might hold true for those of us who spend too much time at work developing image-processing software.
Thank goodness, then, that we will soon be able to look forward to a few more days respite from our toils to celebrate the New Year.
Happy New Year.