Playing video games induce some players to transfer their screen experiences into the real world, say researchers. These video games are implicated in prompting thoughts of 'violent solutions' to problems.
Fans of computers can become so immersed in their virtual environment they do things in the real world as if they were still playing.
For the first time, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Stockholm University have identified evidence of Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), which results in some gamers integrating video experiences into their real lives.
The study involved 42 in-depth interviews with participants aged between 15 and 21 years old, all of whom were frequent video game players and had been recruited from gaming forums.
Almost all the participants had experienced some type of involuntary thoughts in relation to video games.
They thought in the same way as when they were gaming, with half of participants often looking to use something from a video game to resolve a real-life issue.
In some cases these thoughts were accompanied by reflexes - such as reaching to click a button on the controller when it wasn't in their hands - while on other occasions gamers visualised their thoughts in the form of game menus.
Players also reported using video games for interacting with others as a form of amusement, modelling or mimicking video game content, and daydreaming about video games, according to the study.
"Violent solutions to real life conflicts appeared to be used by few of the players, at least in their imaginations" the Daily Mail quoted the study as stating.
"The close resemblance to real life scenarios in video games may have opened a 'Pandora's Box' for some players.
"The use of aggressive, criminal and/or violent fantasies for solving social problems was reported by a few of the players.
"Furthermore, some players also reported intrusive thoughts and sensations related to violence and some had even acted in order to avoid possible danger," the study added.
The study will be published in the next issue of the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.