Gamers ‘hear explosions, screams and music’ long after they stop playing

Video-gamers can still hear the sounds from their computer games, such as explosions, screams or music, long after they have finished playing, research suggests. Playing games “intensively”—such as for long sessions or playing frequently—appears to be more commonly associated with experiencing sounds from games in the real world, experts said. Psychologists visited online forums for players and collected data from 1,244 people who had experienced “game transfer phenomena”—where perceptions, thoughts and behaviours are influenced by video game-playing.

For some gamers, the phenomena are conditioned responses; therefore, the best way for the tiny minority that may have longer-lasting phenomena is to simply cut down the amount they play.

Angelica Ortiz De Gortari, a psychology researcher in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences

The authors, from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, found that people reported hearing sound effects such as weapons, explosions, vehicles groans, screams or breathing. They also reported hearing beeping, percussive sounds and lasers. Gamers reported hearing sounds as they were trying to drift off to sleep or during day-to-day activities such as walking or driving.