Playing Dreams

Rolf Coppens
September 3rd 2006

Jayne Gackenbach, a professor of psychology and sociology at Grant MacEwan College, Canada has completed research which claims that video games alter the way the brain works. Gackenbach has been researching dreams for almost 30 years, and in 1997 she polled a group of her students on the effects gaming had on their dreams, with inconclusive results.

In 2004 she repeated the poll and found that frequent video game players have more "lucid dreams" (in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming) than non-gamers. Often, the dreamer can even manipulate the action or observe it in third-person, much like a video game.

"On an intuitive level, it makes sense," said Gackenbach. "If you're spending a lot of time in a changeable virtual environment, it acts as a sort of practice for another virtual reality, dreams."

I am waiting for the first Massive Online Dream Dungeon.

More here (pdf).
Image taken from a playstation campaign.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!

4 comments

Dr Natural
Posted 12/09/2006 – 00:41

I was wondering.. is this 'nature becomes culture' or 'culture becomes nature'? I guess both:
nature becomes culture: Dreams become cultivated, since we are more aware when we dream
culture becomes nature: The culture of gaming penetrating into our lives up to the level that it becomes part of -or at least influences- our nature.

rolf
Posted 07/09/2006 – 17:59

Who's talking about making dreams physical?

=A=
Posted 04/09/2006 – 18:11

Picture this: when dreams become physical, nightmares do as well: Gamers will become the next reckless army-force.
Our war-machines (tanks, helicopters, missiles and jets) will be equipped with buttons and joysticks similar to game-consoles. Of course verything is remote-control.
The army needs no more volunteers or veterans, and the war-industry will be taken over by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft-like giants. The best gamers in the world can be hired to defeat the enemy.
Playing dreams means creating the next cold war.
Let's keep our dreams and physical world apart, shall we?! :D

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Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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