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The psychological effect of intense gaming

So last night, during a short break from my work session, I was playing Counter-Strike on cs_militia, which is a map featuring a wooden farmhouse with both upstairs and downstairs levels. When people are running around on the roof or upstairs, they make thump-thump noises that the game reproduces pretty well in headphones.

Another teammate and I were downstairs, guarding our objective, when I heard an opponent enter the house somewhat stealthily above me. I used voice chat to tell my teammate that our opponent was upstairs and he whispered back to me, “okay”.

I mention this because the game does not reproduce, in any way, the volume or timbre of the player’s voices. In other words, I can shout in my microphone to teammates, and my opponents will not hear any sound. Yet this teammate, caught up in the act of trying to be sneaky, whispered to me as though it mattered.

While I’m certainly not one to attribute actions or misdeeds to media influences, this kind of experience reinforces, for me, just how completely immersive such games can be.

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