A research, conducted by Nottingham Trent University's International Gaming Research Unit, has found out that playing video games for long hours might lead players to experience "altered visual perceptions" of reality, which is very similar to hallucination.
The study was published in International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.
"In some playing experiences, video game images appeared without awareness and control of the gamers and, in some cases, the images were uncomfortable, especially when gamers could not sleep or concentrate on something else," researchers said.
"These experiences also resulted in irrational thoughts such as gamers questioning their own mental health, getting embarrassed or performing impulsive behaviors in social contexts. However, other gamers clearly thought that these experiences were fun and some even tried to induce them," they added.
However, GameSpot questioned if the study was reliable enough.
So how many samples were taken to come to this conclusion? Well, about 483 gamers were surveyed and an analysis of 656 experiences were collected.
However, the survey was done through online forums and it did not include the psychological profiles of the gamers. This, according to the gaming website, was crucial and in turn resulted in such a conclusion.
Gamers in the research had confided that they would see certain gaming images even outside the game. For example, a menu popping up or projections of heads-up-display coming before their eyes.
The study tries to explain how through video games, the sense of sight, sound and touch (Game Transfer Phenomena [GTP]) are affected in a person. It's goal was to adjudge a gamer's psychological overtones that might arise from altered perceptions due to virtual technologies.
Mark Griffiths, a psychology professor and leader of the study, did admit that without knowing the psychological data of the participants it's difficult to generalise the findings to a larger gamer community.
"Some gamers may be more susceptible than others to experience GTP," he said. "The effects of these experiences appear to be short-lived, but some gamers experience them recurrently. More research is needed to understand the cognitive and psychological implications of GTP."