Guitar Hero Vision – Motion After Effect

I recently purchased Guitar Hero II for my Xbox 360 and just like most people, I play new games like crazy right when I get them. After playing about 5 songs in a row, I noticed that the screen, and anything else I looked at seemed like it was still moving. After watching the colored notes fly by for about 5 minutes at a time, my eyes adjusted and seemed to expect the same movement from everything

else… including my coffee table. Pretty trippy stuff.

The motion after effect (MAE) -is a visual illusion perceived after watching a moving visual stimulus for about a minute and then looking at stationary stimulus. The stationary stimulus appears to move slightly for about 15 seconds, opposite to the direction of the original (physically moving) stimulus. The motion aftereffect is believed to be the result of motion adaptation. – From Wikipedia

If one stares consistently at movement in a particular direction for even a short time, subsequently viewed stationary scenes briefly appear to move in the opposite direction.

This phenomenon was known to the Ancient Greeks, but the first modern report of it is often attributed to Robert Addams (1834), who observed the effect while viewing a waterfall at Foyers in Scotland. The ‘motion after-effect’ can be explained by adaptation in visual neurones that respond selectively to moving contours in the image (see Barlow and Hill, 1963). In the absence of image motion, cells tuned to different directions produce roughly equal responses. Exposure to a particular direction of motion alters this balance in favour of cells tuned to the opposite direction, leading to the illusion. A review of modern research on the phenomenon can be found in Mather et al. (1998).

I wish I could post a video of what it looks like after playing, but I unfortunately can’t record what my eyes are generating. To give you an idea, take a look at this picture. Still Motion The picture is completely still (you know it’s not moving because it is a JPG image – only GIF images can be animated), but it appears to be moving. After playing too much Guitar Hero, I can look at something that is copmletely still (my coffee table) and it appears to be moving. My minds playin’ tricks on me. Does anyone know if this is good or bad? Can it hurt your vision?

19 thoughts on “Guitar Hero Vision – Motion After Effect”

  1. Haha, reminds me of when I used to crack out on Tetris for the OG GameBoy… I didn’t have visual impairment but I would hear the sound effects at random times during the day.

    It wasn’t constant but enough to kind of freak me out.

    You better take it easy, you might trip out like Leo did in that sequence on “The Beach”… or as I affectionately refer to it as, “The Be-atch”.

    Seriously, tell me that wasn’t comedy.

  2. That totally happens to me too! I don’t think it can be a good thing, but I don’t really know to tell you the truth.

  3. NO Joke!! I’ve played guitar hero on the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Both games did the exact thing to me too!! It reminded me of an experience I’ve had that Some people would be proud to admit..but not me…I’ve tried tripping mushrooms twice before and didn’t enjoy it to much. I ate an 1/8 each time at once. Kind of freak’d me out when things started moving that weren’t suppose to be moving.. Like when I stared at the wall in the bathroom about an hour after I took the mushrooms. The textured drywall appeared as if I could stick my finger right into it, and it looked like it was alive. Moving inwards and outwards and kind of twisting. That was pretty cool, but I don’t recomend tripping shrooms at all. It lasts for a good 6 to 8 hours. Once it kicks in you’re like oh damn. What did I get myself into? The thoughts that pass through your head while tripping can be pretty depressing and scary. Some people would laugh at me and say they love tripping. Not me. I’ve tried it twice and it is way to much stimulation for the human mind in my perception. Moral of the story is…I just played Guitar Hero III on the X 360 and was having a blast, but soon as I took my eyes off of the moving screen after a couple songs…I looked at the ground and it was twisting and turning…anywhere I looked things were moving like they were breathing. Thought someone had slipped some shrooms in my food for a sec. I’m a guitar player and love that game, but that trippy feeling you get is one that really messes with my head personally. I don’t like it when I feel like I’ve lost control of my mind. I think I might go play it again, but before that I’m gonna do a little research and make sure it won’t cause any real serious problems like a seisure or somethin. Who knows..? Crazy!!! Thanks for reading!!

  4. I just got GHIII today for ps3 and had the same thing happen, only thing is i got a bag of fresh new weed today and had a smoke before i played. Started tripping and thought ‘DAMN, THIS IS SOME GOOD WEED!’ but decided to check on internet if this sort of thing is normal with this game, and it appears it is!

    I love it, as in the post above i’ve done shrooms and other mind bending substances but haven’t for over 5 years, so when i started tripping after playing it was very good for me, bought back some great memorys. I used to love acid!

  5. A similar visual effect you can get from you can get from the youtube video titled “Natural Hallucinogen”

    Really interesting stuff to look at.

    By the way, the above person talking about shrooms sounds like hes paranoid with or without drugs so don’t take his word on shrooms. It’s a crazy drug but people take it differently.

  6. No no, you just have to stare at the center of it for the duration of the video. Then just look at something stationary (like your ceiling especially) and it should be wobbling around, growing and shrinking. It’s really interesting, and lasts about 15 seconds or so.

  7. I also suffer from MAE when playing this game.
    A friend of mine though, reports he has no real problem with it.
    I, as being a medical student, believe this has to do with the way one plays the game. I watch the notes for playing and quickly scroll my eyes around the neck. My friend only listens to the music and then knows what note to play. This eye movement (sometimes opposite to the movement of the neck) may then cause the MAE.
    It has to do with the brain already ‘planning ahead’ where the picture will go. Think of it as having a 100Hz television but only a 60Hz screen.
    It has nothing to do with being dizzy after spinning around too much (this is related to your balancing organ behind the ear)

  8. I have a DIFFERENT PROBLEM with my eyes. When I have played GH on our PS3 for a couple of hours in the evening, I see repeating images for the next 14 hours or so. It happens when I close my eyes. When my eyes are closed I see those coloful circles whizzing by on the highway. I have never experienced the MAE that the others have described. Anyone else experience what I have?

  9. This happens to me too!! It’s really scary! it gives me a headache too! :( I read the safety instructions in the booklet, and apparently it’s called “Motion sickness” and it says to take a break… this is trippy!! i hate it :(

  10. i think it best to pick a suitable dvd for learning this,if you really want to be good at this!

    i learned like this and after 4 intensive month i think i am no less better than people who learned for years!

  11. Oh my God. I had this effect with Guitar Hero World Tour. I was playing Schizm by Tool today, and I took a break after being booed off the screen(LOL), And I took a look away to rest my eyes while the game was loading. Oh my freaking God, I swear the walls and everything that I looked at were moving downwards and they were like wavy. It looked like a mushroom trip. Not that I would know, But I was seriously hallucinating. Really weird shit. My eyes have since adjusted, At least I hope so Haha, After I turned it off and took a long break. I had never experienced anything like that ever when playing a video game.

  12. I experience the same effect… Anyway, an english research found out action games are good for our vision, so as a gh lover, I prefer believing this discovery includes this nice guitar game :)

  13. This absolutely happens to me too…no worries, it is After-Motion Optical vision…What happens is your brain neurons becom fatiqued and trick your brain into thinking you are still looking the motion!! It shoul go away shortly after you stop playing :)

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