The Science of Video Games and Dreaming

Dream research has concluded that on average every person has 3-5 dreams every night. Some birds and every mammal has dreams. Why? Dreams are part of our cognitive development and play a very important role in consolidating waking life experiences into long-term memory using episodic, semantic, spatial and sensory replay.

Dreams can be programmed, just like programming a computer by the influences we experience from our waking life. Watch a horror movie, have nightmares. Play video games and you might find yourself catapulted into one of your game worlds as a type of dream when you sleep at night. Why? These influences need to be consolidated into long-term memory and the subconscious mind doesn’t care what the source material is, it just runs dream -replay as part of memory consolidation.

At Dreaming for Gamers we exploit this basic principle that external influences, in this case Video Games, Movies, RPGs or any source material will cause the subconscious mind to sort out that experience in the form of a dream producing an interactive 3D sensory-replay of your chosen source material. Some students choose nature settings, others may chose their religious text. We don’t discriminate how you want to influence your own dream content. We just provide the tools and training to paint the canvas of the mind with your own thoughts and experiences.

In 2008 the first scientific study on the effects of video games and there influences on dream content took place with Jayne Isabel Gackenbach and Beena Kuruvilla in their paper, “Video Game Play Effects on Dreams: Self-Evaluation and Content Analysis” where they formally study the effects of video games on dream content and along with other dream studies from 2001 observed something called the “Tetris Effect” concluded that video games influence dream content. Participants report seeing elements of game worlds emerging in the content of their dreams.

In the same way that people who watch horror movies report having nightmares, it is well established with dream research that external world experiences influence the content of our dreams. This is very important if you want to train your dreamstate to be something more rewarding so keep in mind that garbage in equals garbage out with regards to dream experiences.

More recent studies show that modern day Virtual Reality gear can invoke lucid dreams in non-lucid dreamers. Not only that, but the positive effect of concentrating on playing a game also leads to better concentration in dreams. As odd as this all may sound, learning to dream using video game influences is a fun way to start to become skilled at the Art of Dreaming.

As the creator of this website, I started training my dreams using something I call Genre Specific Dreaming as the influences of movies, games and books was self-evident in my own dreams as far back as 1976. By 1986 I read a scientific article in an Omni Magazine written by one of the worlds leading dream researchers on Lucid Dreaming, Dr. Stephen LaBerge called “Power trips: Controlling your dreams”. Here’s a link to some of my experiences going back as far as 1998 in the influence of Star Wars, D&D, Gurps and Video Games.

I have dreamed in many genres ranging from movies like Star Wars, TV shows like Game of Thrones and video games such as Doom, Quake, Skyrim, Fallout, Borderlands, Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, World of Warcraft, Red Dead Redemption and the list goes on. Knowing how to program and control dreams certainly has it’s advantages. The other major perk is out of the 30% of consciousness lost to sleep, I have managed to recover and gain over 10 years worth of conscious experience in the form of dreaming, all of which has been quite overwhelmingly awesome. And why not, we all have 3-5 dreams each night and I just made the choice to participate in mine.

Here are a list of articles that cover the science of video games and their influences on our dreams. If you want to also train your dreams to be an entertainment system and nature’s perfected virtual reality simulator, I highly recommend reading these articles to further inspire a new perspective on how you may want to program your own dream experiences.

Video Game Play Effects on Dreams: Self-Evaluation and Content Analysis https://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/view/vol2no2-3/79

Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests
https://www.livescience.com/6521-video-gamers-control-dreams-study-suggests.html

Dreaming Of Video Games – Researchers Investigate How Playing Games Affects The Sleeping Mind
https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2014/12/26/dreaming-of-video-games-researchers-investigate-how-playing-games-affects-the-sleeping-mind.aspx

Virtual Reality May Help You Control Your Dreams
Research suggests people dream more lucidly after they’ve immersed themselves in virtual worlds.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/virtual-reality-may-help-you-control-your-dreams/500156/

Playing physically interactive video games is associated with lucid dreaming, study finds
https://www.psypost.org/2019/07/playing-physically-interactive-video-games-is-associated-with-lucid-dreaming-study-finds-54042

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