Turns out, though I had no idea at that time, that I was experiencing something referred to as the 'waterfall illusion.' Named as such since you can experience this same effect by looking at a waterfall for 30-60 seconds and then upon looking away at something stationary you will still see the stationary object(s) move for a few seconds. Although Guitar Hero offers apparent motion (a type of illusory motion or motion when there actually is none) it still had this motion aftereffect. So for those of you who have played before, or may still be playing now, do not be alarmed if you experience this as it is a documented part of our own perception.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Guitar Hero Illusion
Way back in 2005 a completely new video game was released that some of you might be aware of. Guitar Hero came out and was an instant hit. Personally, I was hooked as well as were many of my other friends. There was just something so satisfying about appearing to be able to play these songs. In any case, while my friends and I withered hours away trying to master 'Texas Flood' and 'Bark at the Moon' I started to notice something odd. After staring at the screen for hours I had noticed that when I stopped playing that the television, or the shelf that it was on, appeared to keep moving after I had stopped playing. For those unfamiliar with the game see the youtube video below so you can see what it looks like.