Play Your Video Games

Gamers Continue to Hear Sound Effects After They’ve Stopped Playing, Science Says

We can hear those jingling Candy Crush coins now.
Stop... saying... Bible... (Wikimedia Commons)

Stop… saying… Bible… (Wikimedia Commons)

Do you continue to hear a constant loop of “Bible!” long after you’ve stopped Kim Kardashian: Hollywood? You’re apparently not alone.

Gamers often continue hearing sound effects like screams and explosions long after they’ve stopped playing, new research from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit says. The occurrence even has a scientific name: Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP). 

Of the 1,244 gamers the researchers evaluated, 12 percent reported hearing game-related sound effects outside of the game itself, the Guardian reports. These reportedly included “hearing sword slashes, electronic beeps and Super Mario’s falling coin sound.” Sounds annoying.

Others who experienced GTP said they’d hear sound effects in response to certain visual stimuli — the freakiest being the gamer who “whenever it was dark, would hear the sound of the crackling radio signal from Silent Hill, warning him that monsters were coming.” Um, that is the worst thing imaginable.

“Gamers heard auditory cues from the game in their heads, in their ears, but also coming from external sources,” the researchers wrote. “Occasionally, the vividness of the sound evoked thoughts and emotions that resulted in behaviours and copying strategies.”

Previous research has focused on the visual after effects of gaming, exploring how people continue to see elements of video games after they’ve stopped playing. The GTP researchers believe this is the first time anyone’s studied the auditory after effects.

Next we’ll probably find out it’s possible to taste those brightly colored bonbons long after we’ve stopped playing Candy Crush.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com