Do video games influence the way people perceive and experience dreams? Lucid dreaming occurs when the person sleeping is aware that they are currently dreaming. As someone who often feels in control of dreams, I would agree that perhaps the alternative realities video games present could influence the way I dream.
Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University, has been studying the impact video games could have on the subconsciousness mind since the early 1990’s when her son started playing Nintendo. She stated, “The major parallel between gaming and dreaming is that, in both instances, you’re in an alternate reality, whether a biological construct or a technological one. It’s interesting to think about how these alternate realities translate to waking consciousness, when you are actually reacting to inputs from the real world.”
In her most recent paper, Gackenbach found that hardcore gamers were more likely to experience lucid dreams compared to others. Her studies demonstrated that these gamers as well as other lucid dreamers both displayed a more intense focus and awareness in their waking lives. What’s also interesting is the fact that these gamers revealed that they had control over themselves, sometimes as if they were operating another character with the ability to shift between first and third-person. [Read more at IGN]