Playing Video Games Helps You Control Your Dreams

From The 5 Weirdest Things That Influence Your Dreams, by S. Peter Davis.

  • “If you’ve ever been in the middle of a dream when you suddenly realized you were dreaming and could actually control what happened, you’ve experienced a lucid dream. The ability to get into the driver’s seat of a dream — to battle monsters, or hang out with celebrities, or (most importantly) have sex with anyone you can imagine — is an incredibly popular hobby on the Internet, with whole communities set up to advise each other about how to do it. Well, the answer may be easier than they think: play lots of video games.
  • “Video game players report having more lucid dreams than other people, according to a study. The lead researcher, Jayne Gackenbach, has been doing dream research for over a decade and has been able to reproduce the results time and time again — gamers just have a knack for wresting control of their unconscious mind, which is good news for any gamers who find that they’re not getting laid very often in the real world. Or maybe it’s terrible news. You decide.
  • “Gackenbach’s hypothesis is simply that video games train the mind to take control of a fantasy situation. So when you are asleep and enter a dream state, your brain immediately thinks ‘Video game!’ and you find yourself able to take control of the dreamscape.
  • “That’s not all, though — according to the research, frequent gamers actually have the ability to ward off nightmares. Apparently, the essence of a scary dream is the dreamer’s inability to respond to threatening situations like zombie hordes or disappearing pants. But gamers are able to fight back in their dreams, which lowers the general threat level. Gamers’ nightmares tend to be more violent, but less frightening.”

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