Gaming for long periods may make you hallucinate 
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Geoffrey Tim
January 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

LSD

According to a new study – because this is what research money should be used for – says that playing videogames for too long is liable to make you prone to hallucination.

According to the study, those who regularly play games for extended periods of time are more likely to suffer from altered perceptions of reality.

The study, compiled from a sample of 483 forum users, had respondents claim to see  "distorted versions of real world surroundings" and "misinterpreted real life objects" after switching their games off. Others say they see menus and other game items in their heads at odd times, with some seeing "game elements intermittently or episodically in the back of the eyelids". Others still say they could hear game music when not playing.

Some even claim they would see things like faux heads up displays while driving, accompanied by :coloured images. That’s obviously quite concerning.

“Having your cognitive and response mechanisms fully functioning is a vital component of being safe when in control of a vehicle, both for your own wellbeing and that of other road users,” says Sarah Rice, spokeswoman for the RAC

“Hallucinations of any kind while driving are, therefore, clearly a cause for concern. As video games are an increasingly popular past-time, we would welcome further insight into this issue to understand any potential risks for motorists.”

Playing games will get you killed in a motor accident, essentially. It’s high time we banned this sick filth, obviously. I honestly think sleep deprivation is a bigger problem here; that’ll start stuffing around with anyone’s mind, whether they play games or not.

Have you ever experienced video-game related hallucination? I have to admit that I have, of a sort. I don’t know if you know of an old Famicom and Arcade game called Flipull…but after a marathon session of that, I saw block in my head for ages. i also remember after an exceptionally long bout of Guitar Hero 2, the wall afterwards seemed to be warping and distorting in front of my eyes – though i think that’s an optical effect from all the scrolling, more than hallucination.

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces.I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.I am also the emperor of the backend

  • TiMsTeR1033

    B B B B BULLLL SHIT!! I seen no menus or game stuff after turning game off! Those people got issues!

    • DrKiller

      I think it only happens with people with Plasma screens.. you know the burn-ins ;-)

    • ALKi1234

      Once i was a solitaire addict…3-4 hours a day,that went on for 7 weeks. When i closed my eyes i would literately c cards flying around,that’s when i knew i had a problem. I shit you not.

      • TiMsTeR1033

        You got issues my friend!

  • Devourer of Small Bunnies

    I too have had more than one of these episodes. Perfect example. Burn away 8 hours of BF3 and all of a sudden on your 5am trip to the garage you still keep spotting snipers in all manners of locations, roofs of buildings, inside darkened shop windows, behind cars. Nevermind all manner of odd little flashes popping in and out of existence.

    Though, the worst of the lot is dota.I think its permanently staring at the same map, doing the same action, seeing the same mechanics and physics, that turn a dream after a decent bout of matches into basically my own little mind version of dota. Yes. I dream of playing dota, after playing dota. And this feeling of rythmic marching, but I guess thats a subconscious understanding of the game mechanic.

    Kinda makes me think that as people we are a little too much like CRT screens that burn images in of the most used games by said person. Interesting thought

  • Hammersteyn

    I did a couple of times when I was little. But that was after playing Nintendo from 7 in the morning till past 12 at night. If one takes a break every now and again it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Erm… no, not even close. And I’ve had many long gaming sessions over the years.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Did they forget to take their Oculus Rift off?

  • Melasco

    I have experienced this, after extremely long gaming sessions my wife looks like she is pissed off. Thanks for the article, now I know it’s just a hallucination! :)

    • RinceThis2014

      WIN!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I once drove home from Easter Vortex & only realised I had the radio off when I got home. That wasn’t caused by gaming though. *cough*

  • Kromas

    After an extremely long Mario Session once I could still hear the theme music.Turns out my mouth was involuntarily humming it. Spooky.

  • Her Highness the Hipster

    I’ve also had the Guitar Hero distortion – looked like the world was moving away from me. not really a hallucination, though – also think it was the scrolling effect

    • Brenz

      Ive had that too from it, I wouldnt call it hallucination in the way they are mentioning in the article, its just the effect from the scrolling .

    • RinceThis2014

      Ya. that I have had, but that is just because your eyes are preempting what they are seeing. Like if you stare at a crazy carpet and it looks like it’s moving. I think we should ban all fucking carpets now! Who’s with me!?

      • Brenz

        Yeah Im with you! Fuck those carpets, they so 1900’s…

        • RinceThis2014

          Yeah! I say we all eat carpets! EAT CARPET! Wait, what? 0-O

          • Brenz

            I can live with that….

          • RinceThis2014

            Yeah, those carpets are going to be ravaged by the time we are done! 0-O

          • Brenz

            They dont know whats gonna hit them, I like to consider myself a carpet munching pro actually.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Burn carpet, burn!

          • RinceThis2014

            Yeah! I am so going to friction burn those carpets!

          • Brenz

            Right on their knees!

  • DrKiller

    It only happens if you don’t sleep enough. One time I got from a LAN late at night (with no sleep), did some stuff on my PC (yes it was important) and then I started seeing stuff moving that wasn’t really moving.. :P

    • d4zza

      Or may it was?

      • DrKiller

        Maybe you were stalking me.. hmmm…

        • d4zza

          Or maybe you are stalking me????

        • Rock789

          Or maybe you’re just nuts! ;) :p

  • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    I call shenanigans. Never experienced anything close to this.

  • Craig “Crios” Boonzaier

    I wonder if “those” people are gonna use this to further their arguement that games make kiddies bad and make us wanna do naughty things.

  • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    You’d think scientists would be more intelligent..

  • RinceThis2014

    I totally agree. I sometimes see @disqus_DoEH3TsffU:disqus in what we call a ‘real world’. That shit has got to be induced by something nefarious. Next I’ll be ‘meeting’ Banana Jim…

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      You call it “sometimes see”, I call it a “crazed stare”.

      • RinceThis2014

        Crazed stare whilst drooling…

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I was trying to forget that part.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Meet Banana Jim? That means The Matrix is real!

      • Hammersteyn

        He chose the yellow pill

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          that wasn’t a pill, that was a Mealie kernel!

          • Hammersteyn

            Hehehe

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        :( I’m real damnit! I’m REAL!!!

  • ZombieDogma

    I dunno, I quite often get weird auditory hallucinations after playing too long, but that might also be sleep deprivation…

    • Skoobaz

      Or tinitus

      • ZombieDogma

        I don’t think Tinnitus comes in the form of voices or audio clips from Assassin’s Creed.

        Related note: Not crazy, I just have an enriched auditory experience set

  • RinceThis2014

    What a load of crap. I often play for as long as 10 hours at a time (okay, I have loo breaks, tea/cake/beer) and I have no issues. My blue friend sitting on my shoulder agrees with me too.

    • Hammersteyn

      True, as long as you take breaks.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      As long as you take tea breaks, all’s good!

      • RinceThis2014

        Bots don’t hallucinate! You ARE the hallucination!

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          What if I told you the SPOON IS REAL!!?

          • RinceThis2014

            I’d say fork you!

          • Kensei Seraph

            Yeah right.
            That’s like saying the cake is truth.

          • RinceThis2014

            Teheheheh

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            But the cake is truth! Sweet delicious red velvet cake… mmmm.. get in my belly!!!

  • Robert Hart

    Well that explains a lot!

  • Brenz

    I dont entirely agree, I mean I have spent many hours in the zone (thanks WoW), and havent suffered hallucinations. I have had sore and sensitive eyes, but never had surreal hallucinations like I was tripping or anything.

  • Unavengedavo

    I remember hearing about this way back in the day as well. Where people would hallucinate after playing hours of doom… I think it was called Doom Eyes O_o

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    This is unfair. I have NEVER had such cool hallucinations :( the worst that happens is that I may get a tune stuck in my head. However the radio is far more efficient at getting songs stuck in my head

    • RinceThis2014

      Well, if you are looking to have one… I had issues with sleeping a while ago, got like 1 hour a night for a week. So doctor gave me sleeping pills. First night, slept 6 hours straight, better than my usual 3/4. Second night I tripped out that some nutcracker soldiers seen in Dead Space 3 were staring at my from the corner of my room. That wouldn’t be too bad, but they were 6ft tall… How about that? 0-O

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        Dude that’s just creepy bro

        • RinceThis2014

          Tell me about it. Flipped me out man .That shit was GOOD!

          • Unavengedavo

            Well I had sleep paralysis the other night, that usually goes in hand with hallucinations. I saw my ex Girlfriend at the foot of my bed and it looked like she was in a horrible accident and all she said was “How could you let this happen to me”… I am still scared shitless and can’t sleep.

          • RinceThis2014

            FUUUUUCK. You win…

          • Unavengedavo

            The worst part is you can’t move or speak(or scream). You just lay there and accept that you are going to have to change the sheets in the morning

          • Rock789

            O_O

            Ok… Now that’s a tad freaky… Damn dude…

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Dude… I’ve heard stories of sleep paralysis. Hopefully I never experience that.

            But woah dude. That is terrible 0.0. I don’t think I’d ever sleep again

          • RinceThis2014

            I often get it. Comes with sleep apnea which is also fun.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            0.o

            So many who have experience sleep paralysis. Is it as terrifying as it sounds?? I’ve always been curious. Never to a point where I want to experience it myself though.

            You know many say that sleep paralysis is when your spirit is able to leave the body (astral projection and that stuffs) and that the things one sees are the creatures that want to take over your body when your spirit decides to go exploring?

            Not that I believe that kinda stuff though

          • Lord Chaos

            I actually find it fun.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            first person I’ve ever heard say it’s fun

          • Lord Chaos

            Can’t explain why though. But hey, some people jump out of planes…

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Ah yes. I see what you mean. Thankfully I don’t enjoy throwing the ground at myself. So I dare say I wouldn’t enjoy sleep OMF WHY CAN’T I MOVE OR EVEN BLINK! IT’S GONNA EAT ME!!!!!!!!!

          • Lord Chaos

            Lol. It’s also more of being curious. Wondering what exactly will happen.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Well I’m super curious for sure. Just not curios enough hehe

          • Lord Chaos

            What’s the worst that can happen? Having your face eaten off by a shadow person? :P

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Well there’s that. Also, I don’t want to have to change sheets :P

          • RinceThis2014

            I prefer the lucid dreaming. They say that people who suffer from sleep paralysis are able to do that much easier.

          • Unavengedavo

            Lucid dreaming is fun :P Sleep paralysis not so much, even though it has only happened once so far :O

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Now lucid dreaming is something I wouldn’t mind experiencing :)

          • Lord Chaos

            What if you get shot? Or eaten by a shark?

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Lucky I don’t believe the whole “if you die in your dreams”

            Besides. Lucid dreaming you are in control aren’t you. So I will just fly up and Kamehameha that shooter or shark

          • Lord Chaos

            Maybe it’s time you moved her grave out of your garden. :P

          • RinceThis2014

            BWAHAHAHAHA

          • Unavengedavo

            Shit, I though no one saw me!… Uh… I mean… What grave?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        You weren’t dreaming, that was OVG!

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          whahahahha #trollol

        • RinceThis2014

          Nah, I’m used to his freakishness…

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            While hopped up on meds? You sure?

    • Unavengedavo

      Well I can get an image and song stuck in your head with just one phrase…

      “You spin me right round”

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        That must be some kind of record. dumdumtish!

        • Unavengedavo

          One word, life time of scarring… “Meatspin”

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    You know, I’m not sure who they used as a control group but clearly they must have used people who would be prone to this kind of hallucination due to fast moving images. It is why the warnings are there for epilepsy etc.

    I’ve never experianced a hallucination due to gaming. Sure I’ve found myself picturing a gaming moment in the envirnment I’m in. Perhaps a very misty morning with trees around will make me picture zombies from Left4Dead and how I would go about dispatching them or loads of rooftops where you picture a perfect BF multiplayer match happening.

    But that’s just a healthy imagination. Not hallucinations. Perhaps these people were actually experiencing true imagination for the first time in years because all they do is watch sitcoms all day and thus the mind was so starved for imagination that it manifested said imaginations in to real life as hallucinations?

    Just a thought

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      When you start up FF8 on PC you actually have to click “okay” on a warning about flashing lights & epilepsy before it loads. I don’t remember any other game actually doing that.

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        They all do somewhere. Either the loading splash screens or on the box or in a warning leaflet in the box.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Yes, but they never actually prevent the game from loading before you acknowledge the warning. Usually it’s small print or something that just flashes by.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Oh you mean like that. Yeah I see where you are getting at. Mmmmm. Grey area that. Warning is there but as you say, it’s not always clear

    • Mark Treloar

      On the other hand if you start imagining snagging your co-workers dogtags then you may have a problem.

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        hahahaha. Maybe

  • Mark Treloar

    Sometimes when I see taxi’s I imagine a cross hair and the hooter fires the rockets.

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      Here. Have my opposable thumb pointing in an upward direction. Tis ok. I got another one

  • Rock789

    I think their study was conducted in the local psych ward… “I hear the voices… And now they’re playing music too… They’re tell me to go “forward-forward-forward-grab!”… Argh!”

    As an aside, the only thing I’ve ever experienced was motion sickness… After playing Quake (the original) or ROTT for too long – the swaying of the hands on-screen really seemed to get to me.

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      You watched K-TV back in the day didn’t you :P

      • Rock789

        LOL! :) Showing my age, aren’t I…

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          Just a tad ;)

  • RockMossel2014

    Have you guys ever been in a shit situation in real life and try to rage quit?

  • oVg

    TRY OUR DAILY 10HOUR OFFICE COMPUTER STARE DAILY DURING THE WORKING WEEK.
    Stupid silly new studies.

    • RinceThis2014

      lol

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      Yeah I know right. I see e-mails everywhere. I just see them zooming around in front of my eyes. Little envelopes traversing the multiverse trying to find their destinations

  • ElimiNathan

    What is reality ?

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    This explains that strange psychedelic evening in 2003! :o

    • Lord Chaos

      No, that was just the acid.

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        and the mushrooms! Good times

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      Are you going to tell us why the goat was there?

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        The real question is… how do you know about the GOAT? :o

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          HE WAS THE GOAT!!!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            NOOOOooooOoOOOooOOooOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            The memories :( cc @Admiral_Chief:disqus

  • Kensei Seraph

    Closest I’ve ever had are weird dreams from playing way too much Solitaire and Minesweeper and nightmares from F.E.A.R.

  • Brady miaau

    Need for Speed underground.

    Play that for a few hours, using the view where you see no car, then go drive somewhere. The first few blocks always felt a bit funny, hard to describe.

    That first corner caused a bit nerves too

  • Sageville

    Only time I ever hallucinated was after smoking Salvia Divinorum… freaked me out, haven’t tried it since.

    Gaming related: I’ve never hallucinated, but I did have to do a mental double take after a few long nights of WoW, I was sure I saw an Adamantium node on the side of the road, turns out it was just a pile of gravel.

  • Sageville

    You’d probably get the same results if you sleep deprived people and forced them to read a kiddies nursery book over and over and over again.

  • Acornbread

    HUD while driving? What’s the problem? :P

  • Brian Murphy

    Video game hallucinations? No. However, I can confirm that the hallucinations start at the 3-4 day mark, and only build in intensity. My best is a week…then I saw my head turn around in a mirror while I was sitting down….then I decided to go to sleep.

  • HoMM

    Actually I found this article because I was hearing the Heroes of Might and Magic III music still running even after I put my computer on mute. I’ve had that before in the past with different games… just keeps playing in my head but vague and in the background, sort of like it does while I’m playing and not paying much attention to it. Spooky, so I wanted to see if anyone else ever has that… looks like some do.

  • ShadowXSAP

    This is a real thing. I’ve had it happen to me since I was around eight years old. I don’t have to play the game for along time, I don’t stare blankly into the screen for hours. From what i can tell, some are more susceptible to it than others. I don’t see Mario jumping around or anything like that. But the type of thing to where your hearing a catchy song in your head? except its always of a game or recent activity you took part in. It changes the outlook of dreams, But anything heavily influencing, will cause you to dream about it. Here lately I’ve been having more strange side effects like extra blurred vision, seeing see through things, lights, neon what have you. And it seems, my vision has a width issue, somethings look wider, I can look at a still image of a woman’s face, and her forehead looks like its growing in size to me, After so long I can no longer tell rather or not it was originally that big, and it seems i can no longer tell if its growing or just having a “breathing” like motion. Same way when looking at a fan blade ahead, It looks like its spinning slowly, But is it? or has it been in the same spot the entire time. This is a real thing, Video game induced, Not so sure. I’d say any type of media can cause this. I’m still looking for answers, I know I’m not crazy.