The brain, if untrained to such an effect, processes virtual situations as if they are real. The heart rate, oxygen intake, and bloodflow increase. Adrenaline is produced. Energy reserves are optimized for instant access. The player is engaged. They have become one with the game. Traversing the jungle for hours, the sudden calm belies a maelstrom. Every tree hides a danger. You are almost home; you can see the smokestack of civilization on the hill. But your health is low, a hit will certainly kill you, and that means starting over at the last distant checkpoint. A wistful bird calls, and it takes you back to your childhood. You relax for a moment. Instantly a bullet bursts your brain.
A sudden shock like that can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The symptoms include anxiety, hypervigilance, and anger. So if you're wondering why your buddy goes from Gandhi to Gacy during a gaming session, blame it on PTSD.
The good news is that it's a temporary effect. Once your psyche or id or whatever the hell it's called figures out the event was not life-threatening, you'll go back to normal. But this return to normalcy only applies to the average person. The rest of the psychotics are just left in a murderous state of hypervigilance, just waiting for you to say the wrong thing.
Date: August 3, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*