The Video Game Player’s Stare

You all know the gamer’s stare.  You’ve seen it in playtests.  It’s that one where the eyes glaze over, movement stops except for the hands, flow engages, and the person is out of contact.

It’s just a hunch, but has anyone actually watched video of people reading books or watching tv or movies?  I know when I watch people watch a drama series they freeze and just get the same expression on their face for hours.  Is this a universal phenomenon?

PS Or am I the only one seeing this stare?  It took longer for me to (fail to) find an image of this then it did to write the whole post! (Edit: Found! with the help of Nels)

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5 thoughts on “The Video Game Player’s Stare

  1. If you’re looking for a sample picture of a gamer stare, try an image search for SlayerS_`BoxeR`. He’s a pro Starcraft player, and while most of the results are promotional poses or in-game screenshots, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a pretty good selection of pictures of him staring at the screen.

    • Jonathan: Ha! I didn’t think of that. The Terran Emperor and the other pros are an interesting case. They have the stare, but their hands are moving so fast that you can’t possibly believe they aren’t thinking hard.

      Nels: That’s right! I saw that series a while back. That’s definitely the look. Edited and adding a link to it. It’s funny. He only did it for video games.

  2. I see that stare every single time my father is reading the paper or a book. I kind of envy him! He becomes one with reading so easily. He does that a lot when driving, too, which is very good, because it means he’s completely into it and paying attention.

    So yeah, this happens everywhere, everytime… but I guess videogames have far more potential to get people in that state than other activities. 🙂

  3. Aside from the suggestion of where to find a picture, my theory about why people get this look is that it represents the person focusing the whole of their conscious attention on the inner world of the book, newspaper, or video game. It becomes an out-of-body experience of sorts — simply divorcing all attention from the body and surroundings. It is the look of focus and immersion.

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