Hardcore gamers are at risk of hearing “maddening” screams and explosions after periods playing video games, a new study has found.
Respondents reported hearing sound effects, music and characters’ voices after playing games.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University compiled responses from more than 1,200 online forum users.
Some 12% of those surveyed have experienced hearing noises in their heads after gaming, often without triggers.
The research team called the concept “game transfer phenomena”, and said that vehicle noises, lasers, and bullets were among the most common sounds heard.
One gamer said they heard a voice whispering “death” repeatedly for days, while the words “go, go, go” repeated in the head of another when he was on crowded public transport.
The experiences were described as “scary” and “maddening”.
Some gamers also reported experiencing sleep deprivation as a result.
One of the team’s researchers, Angelica Ortiz De Gortari, said: “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.”