The Effect of Computer Gaming on Subsequent Time Perception


Losing track of time upon gaming is a phenomenon often reported by players of computer and video games. However, the few studies addressing this issue show mixed results and do therefore not allow final conclusions about the effect of gaming on time perception. Even less is known about whether and how time distortion continues after a play session. Therefore, the present experiment tested the effect of gaming on the perception of time subsequent to a game session at a LAN party. 40 players produced standard time intervals of 10 s and 60 s before and after having played computer games. Results show a significant increase in time productions after gaming for the short interval, indicating that game-induced time losses continue even after a game session. In contrast, the reverse was true for the longer interval. We discuss how this result may be explained in terms of participants’ motivational states during the experiment counteracting subjective time losses.

time perception; computer game; LAN party
Author biographies

Stefanie Luthman

Author photoStefanie Luthman is a Research Associate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She has undertaken her PhD studies in psychology where she examined the transfer processes experienced by computer gamers. She is currently working on a project that aims to redesign key aspects of the teaching and learning of physical science and mathematics during the early stages of secondary education. Her research interests are media effects and student engagement and learning.

Thomas Bliesener

Author photoThomas Bliesener is chair in developmental psychology, educational psychology and psychology and law at the Institute of Psychology at University of Kiel, Germany. His main research topics are: The development of deviant social behavior, aggression, violence and delinquency from early childhood to adulthood as well as evaluation research on programs on its prevention and intervention.

Frithjof Staude-Müller

Author photoFrithjof Staude-Müller is a researcher at the Institute of Psychology of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel. His research interests are media effects, deviant online behavior and parental mediation of children´s and adolescents´ media use. He is currently working on his PhD thesis on the effects of computer game violence on social information processing.

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