Gamers unearth impaired vision risk

Gamers unearth impaired vision risk

People who play video games could suffer after-effects that hinder their real-life driving abilities, new research suggests.

Some of the gamers questioned by researchers at Nottingham Trent University admitted to seeing "coloured images" and "heads up displays" while driving on the motorway.

The researchers report that such perceptual experiences, referred to as Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), can occur while gaming, immediately after play or even following some delay.

Other gamers taking part in the study, which was led by psychologists Angelica Ortiz de Gortari and Professor Mark Griffiths, said they see video game menus "pop up" in front of their eyes when chatting to friends, suffer sleeplessness or even experience flashbacks after playing games.

Given the potential road safety implications more generally associated with distorted vision and impaired awareness, experts at the RAC are calling for further research to shed more light on the issue.

RAC spokeswoman Sarah Rice said: "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.

"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."

Copyright Press Association 2014