(NEW YORK) — If you can hear the clanging of Candy Crush coins or characters’ voices from League of Legends long after you’ve stopped playing, you’re not losing your mind.
You might just have game transfer phenomena.
Psychologists from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit gathered online data from 1,244 gamers and found extended play can induce “pseudo hallucinatory-like experiences.”
Of the sample, 12 percent reported hearing sounds as a result of their gaming, including everything from characters’ voices to bullets, ringing and explosions.
For Kim Kardashian Hollywood fans, that may mean hearing the theme music for the game, or Kardashian’s voice telling your character, “You’re the best,” after helping her pick out an outfit.
It could also mean hearing bloodcurdling screams, bullets, sword fights and groans from other popular games, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.
The phenomena is so real, according to researchers, that some gamers reported hearing the sounds coming from external sources.
Game transfer phenomena was most prevalent after gamers played all night or for days on end, and cropped up during everyday activities, such as sleeping, walking and driving.
Researchers warned that extended game play can sometimes spur illogical thoughts, behaviors and distress in gamers — making it crucial that gamers are able to understand when they’re experiencing game transfer phenomena.
Ferris “AGent” Ganzman, the coach of Robert Morris University’s first varsity League of Legends team, is immersed in a world of video games, but said he’s never experienced “game transfer phenomena.”
“If it does happen it’s probably not that common,” he said. “At least the majority of people I have talked to have never told me about this happening.”
But for the people who game transfer phenomena is all too real, Mark Griffiths, a research professor who worked on the study, offers this advice: “The best way for the tiny minority that may have longer lasting phenomena is to simply cut down the amount they play,” he said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News