Can playing videogames train you as a lucid dreamer? Psychologist Jayne Gackenbach thinks so, according to work she presented at this week's Games for Health Conference in Boston. For several years, Gackenbach, a researcher at Grant MacEwan University, studied similarities in skills between gamers and individuals who have learned to control their dreams. She also looked at how videogame-play seemed to affect nightmares. From LiveScience (painting is Salvador Dali's "The Dream"):
"If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice," said Gackenbach. "Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams...."
Finding awareness and some level of control in gamer dreams was one thing. But Gackenbach also wondered if video games affected nightmares, based on the "threat simulation" theory proposed by Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo.
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.
In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something "fun" for a gamer.
"What happens with gamers is that something inexplicable happens," Gackenbach explained. "They don't run away, they turn and fight back. They're more aggressive than the norms."
"Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests" (via The Anomalist)
And for an excellent HOWTO on lucid dreaming, I highly recommend the 1990 book "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming" by Dr. Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold (yes, that Howard Rheingold).
Seriously impressive game-inspired stitching project right here.
In Untitled Goose Game, you are the goose: an irascible, annoying, hostile bird waddling around the environs of your pond, attacking children and ruining things. It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose. Makes me think of a cross between Katamari Damacy and Postal. It’s made by Aussie developer House […]
Lily’s Garden is a variant of Candy Crush, a brainlessly addictive match-three smartphone game. The thing that makes Lily’s Garden different, says Brian Feldman of New York’s Intelligencer, is its bizarre ad campaign, which has Lily telling her friend about the penis size of men she knows, and magically erasing her pregnancy by swiping away […]
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]