Virtual Reality Could Cause Hallucinations
Every new thing that comes out is accused of ruining the entire world. It happened with comic books, rock & roll, video games, and now Google Glass. "You're walking distracted, that can lead to accidents!" The reasonable critics said. "You're probably watching porn all the time -- porn starring the devil!" The less reasonable ones insisted. So when news came out that Google Glass might mess with your brain, it probably tripped your bullshit sensors.
"Besides, everyone knows to use Bing for devil porn."
But there may be something to it. In a case study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, a Glass user had to forfeit his device while undergoing rehabilitation. Soon, the man reported seeing his dreams through a narrow "gray window," as if he was experiencing them through his (now-absent) Google Glass. The researchers concluded that repeated use of the device had burned itself into the subject's subconscious mind, after which it slowly started leaking into his everyday life.
Alexey Klementiev/iStock/Getty Images
Further evidenced when he paid $1,000 for the ugliest sunglasses the researchers had ever seen and stopped using plural nouns.
You know that thing where you play Tetris for too long, and suddenly you're mentally stacking everything you see? Science actually has a name for that. They call it "game transfer phenomena." Usually, the symptoms are perfectly benign, like seeing a particularly bitchin' rail and wondering how many points it's worth in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. In rare cases, though, GTP can lead to hallucinations. In a Swedish study, one 15-year-old hardcore gamer reported seeing health bars over the heads of people he encountered in real life. Of course, no one has gone stomping on turtles and throwing their bloody shells at their neighbors -- it's nothing but a strange, rare little quirk.
James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images