Gamers 'hear sounds after play'
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.
Of these, 155 (12%) claimed they had auditory experiences as a result of game play, according to the research published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.
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 gearing 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.
Angelica Ortiz De Gortari, a psychology researcher in Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences, said: " This research supports findings of previous studies into game transfer phenomena, which show that video game- playing can induce pseudo hallucinatory-like experiences.
"These experiences can sometimes result in illogical thoughts and behaviours.
"It's important to help gamers understand their experiences since re-experiencing sounds and voices may provoke distress, especially when associated with dangerous situations in the game."
Researcher Professor Mark Griffiths said: "Game transfer phenomena appears to be commonplace among excessive gamers and most of these phenomena are short-lasting, temporary, and resolve of their own accord.
"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."