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If You Could See What I See

There is a little known phenomenon hardcore gamers tend to experience but never talk about.  This experience occurs when a person plays a game for so long that when they attempt to fall asleep at night all they can see is little pictures of 8 bit wonderment behind their closed peepers.

You may think to yourself, Well Anne, I thought that was my subconscious telling me that I’m an awful person for ignoring my daily responsibilities.  That may still be the case but what is really happening is an optical illusion called negative afterimage.

Stare at this image for 30 seconds and then look at a white surface, you should see the negative afterimage.

Most of the time your eyes avoid negative afterimage by rapidly moving in small increments but sometimes there are deathmatch battles to be fought and looking away from the enemy isn’t an option. When this happens your eye’s photoreceptors adapt from over stimulation and lose sensitivity.  If your retina is exposed to one color for too long the adapted photoreceptors tire out and stop responding,  then at night when you close your eyes and offer a blank slate the worn out colors become muted and the unaffected portions become stronger.  In turn you see a very visual opposite image because that’s what your brain is interpreting it as.

So if this is a common occurrence in your daily gaming ritual take a second to relax those retinas and if the problem persists after shorter amounts of time and for longer durations please contact your doctor.  You may have a condition called Palinopsia and he will probably be the only one who believes you, your girlfriend on the other hand not so much.

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  • Sarah Sallmann

    So thats why I see tetris pieces when I close my eyes??

  • Germeh

    That happened to me so much when I would play EQOA all day and night.. be in a sound sleep and see the picture.. then my subconscious would take over and be like “Oh crap you fell asleep as the healer! wake up!” I would jumpp up and realize it was all a dream.

  • REGUL80R

    i would have to say that was an awesome article and i actually learned something…i need to stop playing assassins creed because last night i woke up holding sarah’s neck speaking Italian.

  • mkoerner

    lol… That explains it! Did I miss the artical about thumb gloves?