after prolonged sessions
Thousands of people who play video games hear explosions and screams hours after they have turned their consoles off, a study has revealed.
More than 30million people regularly play video games in the UK, with the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles offering the most realistic game-playing experience yet.
And many of those who either play frequently or for extended sessions hear sounds from games in the real world, experts have found.
Psychologists 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%) had auditory experiences as a result of game play, according to the research published in the International Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning.
Experts at Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit found 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.
Angelica Ortiz De Gortari, a psychology researcher in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences, said: “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 Prof Mark Griffiths added:
“The best way for the tiny minority that may have longer lasting phenomena is to simply cut down the amount they play.”