Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests

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posted on May, 29 2010 @ 08:18 AM
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I almost put this in breaking news, but I thought it would be better off here.

Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests


Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned.

That ability to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds might not match mind-bending Hollywood films such as "The Matrix," but it could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma.


www.livescience.com...

As a big gamer myself and someone who began investigating lucid dreams and "astral" projection 15 years ago, I found this article fascinating.

Some very interesting quotes from the article:


The two groups have also demonstrated a high level of focus or concentration, whether honed through lucidity-training activities, such as meditation, or through hours spent fighting virtual enemies to reach the next level in a game.


Virtual reality seems to induce the same kind of processes found in transcendental meditation. Makes me wonder what the Pineal gland is doing when I'm gaming.


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.



The gamers also frequently flipped between a first person view from within the body and a third person view of themselves from outside, except never with the calm detachment of a distant witness.


I can vouch for that. I tend to have lucid dreams often and third person dreams too. Sometimes the dreams don't seem to be taking place in three dimensions, instead I'm seeing myself, seeing out of my eyes and seeing the environment all at the same time.



Revonsuo suggested that dreams might mimic threatening situations from real life, except in the safe environment of dream world. Such nightmares would help organisms hone their avoidance skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation.

To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a 2008 study with 35 males and 63 females, and used independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports. She found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall


I can vouch for that as well, especially reversed threat simulation. I have had a number of lucid dreams involving a change into an animal like a wolf or lion. The most bizarre example involved transformation into a hurricane like storm.

The best part about the article is how gaming may be able to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and help veterans. I agree with this idea. I tend to think it has helped me personally cope with facing stresses from my own deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Any military personnel or veterans interested in the Athabasca University study on the military and gaming can e-mail jayneg@athabascau.ca to find out how to participate.


I need to mention the last part in case anyone is interested in taking part in the study. I know ATS has tons of military members and I think they might like to know more about this.



[edit on 29/5/10 by MikeboydUS]




posted on May, 29 2010 @ 08:27 AM
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Hah this report is definitely true.

When I was younger and went on epic Starcraft runs (6-7 hours), I would close my eyes and see the game being played out. Ditto Call of Duty.

"Virtual reality seems to induce the same kind of processes found in transcendetal meditation."

I wouldn't go that far. Video game dreams are typically very tense, i.e. the same images of incoherent bits of the game replayed; the competitiveness of the game is mimicked in the dream (which also IMO diminished the relaxing quality of sleep). Maybe if you play the zen monk game instead of a violent one you'll have nice dreams.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:24 AM
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That article is so awesome!

Now that I think about it though I have to agree that video games helped me deal with the mental trauma of my childhood. My mom not sane and I was in her custody, many bad things happened. Only way I was able to deal with them was to start playing out what was happening in my head and to use my dreams to explore alternative events.

Also when it started getting to me my dreams became a battleground to keep myself together. So this report is very true in my opinion and I'm happy to see it posted here! S & F for you!



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:27 AM
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I can relate to this, I used to be a hardcore Zelda and Super Mario fan when I was younger and I can remember having some pretty long sessions on the N64. I once had dreams in which I used a start menu to pause, alter or completely exit from a dream.

Strange stuff folks.

Remain Vigilant



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:43 AM
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allot of RTS games even war based has helped me in many ways , same with call of duty.

star and flag for ya OP!

[edit on 29-5-2010 by Agent_USA_Supporter]



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:44 AM
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I can vouch for this to. I use to play long hours of World of Warcraft, 10 hours at a time (I know i needed help). I remember dreaming of WoW and controlling my dream, with a video game controller (knowing I was dreaming)



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:48 AM
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I do not play games anymore, so have no clue.

But who knows.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:53 AM
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this is true, as a fairly hardcore gamer myself I can say that in my dreams I bounce from first person to third person constantly, and have had a few lucid dreams though I have never tried inducing lucid dreaming.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:54 AM
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I agree with prior comment. The images seem stuck in your head forcing you to see the same strategy units making deeper relaxing sleep harder. And I *wouldnt* go so far to call it hypnogogic imagery either.

Also they seem to diminish intensity of normal dreams. Every time a dream becomes a little too intense I hit the imaginary pause or exit. So I dont agree with this study.

*edit for clarity

[edit on 29-5-2010 by pilotx]



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by pilotx
So I dont agree with this study.


Too right, there are plenty who never play games on this earth, lol. Look at shamen and tibetan monks, and lots of priests.

Some of these studies are rubbish in my eyes, just like you said.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by andy1033
 


Well obviously mind altering drugs, and meditation help those guys to lucid dream. Different strokes for different folks.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by Maddogkull
 


Too right, you cannot say that one person has a knack for something all others will be able to do the same, in terms of how that one person did it.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:13 AM
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True!
I used to play WoW alot, and I would go sleep just after...
I had those weird dreams.. woah !

But now I stopped and I can't dream (well like 1 dream/week MAX)..




posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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Sadly, I ended up headshotting my dream guide with a sniper rifle, then chainsawed through a bunch of freudian symbolisms.

I wont even tell you what happened during the giving a public speech in my underwear dream...lets just say, I am pretty sure I got a high score...


Dreams...you will be completely influenced by whatever you were doing in significant quantities beforehand...video games is all about controlling the fantasy to your liking, so ya, this makes perfect sense.

you want a really interesting set of dreams...read tons of astral projection books and videos...I had several lucid dreams when I did that (the dream when your fully aware its a dream and know where your sleeping, your a avatar, etc)...I still didn't have as much control over the environment mind you, but I had plenty of control over myself and reacted as anyone would in a virtual world that knew it was a virtual world...spoke with people in my dream of how it was a dream, some seemed to know, some seemed shocked by the news, etc...

Dreams after playing hours of games tends to just put the dream into game context....I suggest oblivion (it makes the gameworld pretty)...just make sure to mod the hell out of the game



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by jolois
True!
I used to play WoW alot, and I would go sleep just after...
I had those weird dreams.. woah !

But now I stopped and I can't dream (well like 1 dream/week MAX)..



You dream everynight...You simply stopped remembering them after a few minutes of being awake..
If you want to remember you dreams again, put a little notepad and pen by your bedside table and train yourself to jot down anything you remember from the dream the second you feel yourself conscious...not like 5 minutes later, but the actual moment you become semi-awake...your dreams leave very quickly because the reference is sometimes quite odd and we don't offhand know how to relate it to reality...eventually about 10 or so minutes later, we completely forget it all (tucks away into the subconscious).

Dreams can be a interesting gauge into whats going on with us subconsciously...try to work through the interpretations and such (no book will tell you what a lake means to you, nor is a lake just a lake...its what it means to you that counts and the context)



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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This a great article! I can understand what you are all talking about, i nfact I make sure that I dont play video game sfor more than a couple of hours at a time now and never before Im going to sleep because I can be 'playing' the game all night in my sleep and it is really really annoying!

I practice Lucid dreaming however and the two are different in my opinion. The gaming 'dreams' seem to just come from intense concentration, and although I have control over them, Its not like having control in a luccid dream but just like playing the game normally.

Cant believe this happens to everyone else though, I though it was just me!



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


A fellow Oblivion player! With the right mods that game is full of zen.

I think the study should expand to see what kind of postures people assume when gaming and look at their breathing. I would bet many people enter a trance like state when gaming.

I have a feeling a game can serve the same function as an Icon or a Mandala. The buttons on the controllers or even a mouse may be functioning like prayer beads in some sense.

I would bet some games work better than others at it. Darker horrific games like Silent Hill are probably not a good idea. Racing, Stealth, Puzzle probably being the exact opposite.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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Lol this interpretation of the news article is so different from the one I read. The title is pretty misleading too.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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This is a great thread and it is so true.

When I was heavy into first person shooters, I used to "re-create" the entire game in a dream and blast the hell out of things. Not only was it fun, but it was better then the actual video game.

This also applies to certain movies that I loved, where I would re-create the movie from the perspective of one actor, for example Luke Skywalker from the original Star Wars... and as incredible or unbelievable as it might sound, I would go through the dream, with nearly every acurate detail from the movie, yet at the vantage point of one of the character.

I remember fighting toe-to-toe with Darth Vader, flying my x-wing and blowing up the death star... and this didn't happen once, but several times as a kid. I would wake up just thrilled at dreaming it.

Dreaming is natures virtual reality simulator.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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It happens to me all the time when I play games before bed. I'll end up dreaming of an epic battle in Battlefield Bad Company 2, or sneaking around breaking people's necks in Splinter Cell, or flying sorties in Over G or LOMAC, or fighting zombies in COD WaW.

the only thing I hate about dreams are the ones where I'm trying to shoot a gun, but the trigger is so heavy to pull that I find myself trying to pull the trigger with two hands and getting over run. Then when the bullet is finally fired, it just falls out the end of the barrel. It's kind of like the dreams of trying to run away, but I'm only running in place, or running in slow motion as my opponent is running normal speed.

none the less, dream kick ass. In fact I look forward to what I will dream about tonight. Last night I dreamed of being in the Avatar world, since I watched the movie before going to bed.





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