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Video Gamers Have Power Over Their Dreams 308

Ponca City, We love you writes "Live Science reports that researchers say playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma. 'If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice,' says Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, who says that hardcore gamers represent the leading edge of immersion in virtual worlds that increasingly has come to define a large part of contemporary entertainment and communication. 'Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.' One intriguing theory holds that dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation. To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a study using independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports and found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something 'fun' for a gamer."
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Video Gamers Have Power Over Their Dreams

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  • by rduke15 ( 721841 ) < minus berry> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @05:57PM (#32353950)

    As a teenager, I used to try controlling my dreams, and it actually sort of worked. I was sometimes able, in my dream, to realize it's a dream and decide about stuff happening in it, or decide waking up. I can't quite remember details now, but I do remember I was fascinated with all that was possible.

    Video games didn't exist at the time.

    I think this has nothing to do with video games, and everything to do with age and the mental ability and desire to experiment with stuff like that.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:00PM (#32353984)

    How this differs from lucid dreaming?

    Well, I'd predict that the first study suggested that people who frequently played video games were more likely to report lucid dreams, observer dreams where they viewed themselves from outside their bodies, and dream control that allowed people to actively influence or change their dream worlds – qualities suggestive of watching or controlling the action of a video-game character.

    A second study tried to narrow down the uncertainties by examining dreams that participants experienced from the night before, and focused more on gamers. It found that lucid dreams were common, but that the gamers never had dream control over anything beyond their dream selves.

    What's that you say? I just copied that from TFA? Well if you knew that was in TFA, why'd you ask?

    TFA also mentions that the researcher in question was focused on lucid dreams until she saw her son kissing an NES box.

  • What dreams? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @06:08PM (#32354104) Journal

    Gamers smoke a lot of pot. Pot inhibits REM sleep.

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