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Video Gamers Have Power Over Their Dreams

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the nocturnal-excursions dept.

Canada 308

Ponca City, We love you writes "Live Science reports that researchers say playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma. 'If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice,' says Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, who says that hardcore gamers represent the leading edge of immersion in virtual worlds that increasingly has come to define a large part of contemporary entertainment and communication. 'Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.' One intriguing theory holds that dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation. To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a study using independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports and 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."

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Pfft. (3, Funny)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353904)

Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

Other than testing the number of respawns.

Re:Pfft. (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353926)

>> Other than testing the number of respawns.

Praise Buddha for respawns!

Re:Pfft. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354076)

As a Buddhist, I feel I HAVE to reply to your comment.

HaHaHaheeHeeHoHoHo! ROFL

Re:Pfft. (5, Funny)

indre1 (1422435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354150)

I hate these long respawn times - you're having a great game and suddenly - woosh, it's gone, connection dropped! It takes forever to calm down and reconnect to the realm of dreams. Even when you eventually manage to, there are no dedicated servers and the maps are random, so you rarely end up playing the same good map that you got disconnected from...

Re:Pfft. (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353932)

Other than testing the number of respawns.

Well, you can always scream for tech support. (wait, wrong movie...)

Re:Pfft. (4, Funny)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354020)

If Lawrence Fishburne is nearby wearing a trench coat, I'd close my eyes, cover my ears with my fingers, and chant: "This is a dream, the sequels don't exist" over and over like a mantra.

Re:Pfft. (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354214)

If Lawrence Fishburne is there wearing a trenchcoat, telling me he's not sure if I'm ready to see what he wants to show me, and trying to get me to take colorful pills, I'm going to be praying it is a Matrix-sequel dream.

Re:Pfft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354168)

i had a dream where i thought i just woke up but actually didnt, it was scary

Re:Pfft. (4, Interesting)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354262)

I've had dreams where I wasn't sure. However, if it happens to occur to you while in a dream, there are actually certain exercises that one can do within a dream to attempt to test if you are in a dream or not.

Usually light switches don't really work in dreams. It's hard to read in dreams, letters tend to change or look non-nonsensical; reading something and then looking away for a moment and then rereading it will usually result in the words changing completely. Looking at clocks or watches tends to be much like trying to read. Often music and songs that you hear will change from the normal version.

There are many weird quirks in dreams that really give them away, if one has the presence of mind to actually check them, however thinking to check is the tricky part.

Re:Pfft. (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354488)

Didn't Doctor Who just do an episode on that?

Lucid dreaming? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32353906)

How this differs from lucid dreaming?

(most of this post is plagerized) (3, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353984)

How this differs from lucid dreaming?

Well, I'd predict that the first study suggested that people who frequently played video games were more likely to report lucid dreams, observer dreams where they viewed themselves from outside their bodies, and dream control that allowed people to actively influence or change their dream worlds – qualities suggestive of watching or controlling the action of a video-game character.

A second study tried to narrow down the uncertainties by examining dreams that participants experienced from the night before, and focused more on gamers. It found that lucid dreams were common, but that the gamers never had dream control over anything beyond their dream selves.

What's that you say? I just copied that from TFA? Well if you knew that was in TFA, why'd you ask?

TFA also mentions that the researcher in question was focused on lucid dreams until she saw her son kissing an NES box.

Re:(most of this post is plagerized) (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354752)

This is interesting.

For the last dozen or so years, I've been having more frequent "lucid" dreams, where I'm aware that I'm in a dream and have some control over the dream events. I first learned to do it by looking for a light switch in any room in which I found myself during a dream. Once I found the light switch, I'd throw the switch, which would usually turn a light off or on.

It's gotten to the point where pretty often I'm able to fly at will during my dreams, which is handy because a lot of my dreams tend to be the kind where I'm being chased by nazis/bad guys/aliens. So as soon as I realize I'm in a dream, it's just "up up and away". The cool part is that I get to stay in the dream.

I've heard of people learning to lucid dream by forcing themselves to look at their hand while dreaming, but that never worked for me.

However, the more frequent lucid dreams have coincided with a period in my life where I have also enjoyed computer games. I've dreamed that I'm driving a Hunter Civilian in Paradise City more than once, and I've had a Bioshock nightmare, for sure.

I thought I was dreaming that I was in Resident Evil 5, but it turned out that the game just sucked so badly that it just seemed like a nightmare. Bad console ports can be like that.

Re:Lucid dreaming? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354124)

It differs because you are no Tom Cruise.

Or ARE YOU? oO

Re:Lucid dreaming? (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354190)

Well, lucid dreaming implies that you are aware that you are dreaming. One can exert control over one's dreams without actually realizing that it is a dream. In the dream they might have abilities or powers that are not present in reality and they might seem completely believable to you in your dream state.

One doesn't have to realize they are dreaming in order to fly in the dream, right?

However, this might imply that a gamer might be more successful in lucid dreaming as well.

Re:Lucid dreaming? (5, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354234)

Lucid dreaming is where you know its a dream, but in the case of the article, you still control yourself in the dream state without realizing its a dream till you wake up.

I remember reading a paper about this like last year, that said gamers are more likely to be lucid dreamers and I found it to be true, in my case. I played a LOT of video games during my teens, I'd say at least 5 hours a day, averaging about 40 hours a week. Once you get -REALLY- immersed in a game that you can turn off and shut down, it becomes easier to be a lucid dreamer. I haven't had it as much lately, since I stopped playing when I got job, but every month I get at least 2 or 3 fully lucid dreams, and in 99% of cases I can remember my dreams.

Let me describe how it usually goes down for me. You fall asleep. You either wake up in your room, or doing some trivial task you usually do, like laundry. Something slightly odd will happen, and happen either quicker than usual or slower than usual, like a spider scuttling across the floor, or someone walking into the room. This is the first signal, you don't have any real thoughts before this, but now you start remembering everything that happens very clearly. When it comes to a point where you are compelling to do something, perhaps your mother asks you to go to the store, and you leave, something VERY odd will happen. This will trigger the thought process of "This can't be right".

Now this can happen normally in any dream, and often times it does to me. Sometimes this will cause me to wake up, other times I will just have to continue with whats happening trying to figure it out. But the lucid part comes when you go "This can't be right, it must be a dream". Once you realize its a dream, a whole lot of doors open up. You feel like you have conscious thought to do whatever you want. I have trained myself that when I see that first signal, I will go and try something to see if I can trigger the "this isn't right" thought. For me, this involves walking some place, and if it takes 5 seconds to walk down the entire block, I know thats not right. If I flick the light switch numerous times but it doesn't flash properly, I know thats not right. Those kinds of things work for me, they get my mind to realize its a dream.

Now, once you get that power to do whatever you want in your dreams, the next step comes in FULL CONTROL of your dreams, which is very difficult to achieve. I have only ever had maybe 2 dozen fully controlled dreams, but I remember each one of them as though it happened yesterday. This is where its not that you have control of your actions, but you also have control of your surroundings. Times I would think "This is a dream, so why don't I just fly?" And I'd be able to fly. Times I'd be "There is a monster, this is clearly a nightmare. Well if I'm dreaming, give me a weapon", and turn a nightmare into a great experience.

Being a nerd, you can imagine where some of the fantasies led. The sad thing is, its the best I've ever had. I have had some very enjoyable endeavours in the real world, but nothing really relates to the pleasure of being able to do what you want to when you want to, without limitation or inhibition. You can do the things you'd be embarassed about without reconsideration. One day I had the thought of "I have already manifested anything I could ever want. What is to stop myself from manifesting the things I would hate or fear the most?" I was able to see deeper into my fears than ever before. Some things I discovered shocked me so much I didn't want to sleep anymore. Luckily that subsided.

If you want to learn to do this, its not as difficult as it might seem. Video games have been shown to help, or at least statistically. The other thing is a dream journal. Keep a journal by your bed. Every day when you wake up, and you remember a dream, write something down, jot it quickly if you're in a rush. But put it down before you forget. Then when you come home from work and you re-read it, you'll get a flurry of memories.

One thing I've noticed is that once you start remembering dreams, and just before you gain lucid control, there were a LOT of recurring dreams, often dreams would last about a minute, but each time there would be something slightly different. At least in my experience.

Re:Lucid dreaming? (2, Funny)

tattood (855883) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354698)

What is to stop myself from manifesting the things I would hate or fear the most?"

Don't you hate it when you manifest a giant squid that attacks your underwater habitat?
HELLO. MY NAME IS JERRY.

Re:Lucid dreaming? (3, Interesting)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354872)

Lucid dreams though are fundamentally conscious dreams. All dreams involve some level of consciousness, or they would not register at all. Many though have very little consciousness. You are not in the dream making it more like a movie, or you are there but you are not really in control. Dreams go through a whole spectrum though through to basically full consciousness, where you are basically fully alert, you are able to think things through, etc. Any dream where you stopped and though things through would be one with a relatively high level of consciousness.

Now of course I am abusing the term consciousness here, because consciousness implies awareness of surroundings and awareness of self (at least to the maximum level self-awareness occurs in the species in question). In such a state, you are aware of yourself mentally, just like in real life, but as far as physical self-awareness you are only aware of your simulated self, and the same holds true for awareness of surroundings.

Technically such a state could be called "lucid dreaming", but you are correct that generally that term is used for dreams that have both lucidity [1] and awareness of being dreaming.

As for gamers though, while I will not dispute the end effect of having more conscious or even lucid dreams, I will dispute the explanation. Gamers don't have more control over the environment. Games often give the player relatively little control over the environment, and have only relatively course grained control over the character compared to the real world. You are not likely to be able to use your empty gun as a melee weapon, or perform many other improvised actions, such as ducking into a locker to hide from an assailant, or hundreds of other things that one might have a reason to try but the programmers never thought about, or decided was not worth implementing.

[1] Here I am using the original definition of lucidity meaning able to think clearly.

Emergency *drill* (2, Interesting)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353912)

Not all that surprising really. We rehearse coping with dangerous situations all the time (including public speaking ;-) ), so that when they actually happen we'll be better prepared to handle them.

FP.

Re:Emergency *drill* (2, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354416)

We rehearse coping with dangerous situations all the time (including public speaking ;-) )

Sure, but naked?

I fly in my dreams.... (5, Interesting)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353916)

I learned to fly... it makes nightmares non-existent as I know i'm sleeping, and just "neo" away from whatever is bothering me... Pretty fun stuff - this will sound utterly retarded, but I once flew so fast and so far that I broke through space and met two odd green creatures who were looking down at the universe within a globe. I don't remember our conversation. Doh.

But the key is to become aware that you are dreaming, and that you *can* do anything... It eliminates nightmares.

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354086)

So true, i can fly too.
but i dont have to use it to get away from anything. all i have to do is visualize another reality without whatever is threatening me and poof there i am :)

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354102)

I can attest to this. It is so fun.

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (1)

s122604 (1018036) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354324)

Kang and Konos?

Or Thrul and Klaupacius (Stanislaw Lem -- if you haven't read "The Cyberiad" you should, I know "Cyberiad" seems kinda cheesy, but it was written in the early 70s... )

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354362)

I found the easiest way to become aware you are dreaming is to walk somewhere, or flick a light switch. If it takes you only a few moments to go down the block or across the city, or the lightswitch behaves oddly, you are dreaming.

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354394)

Weird, you don't dream about low hanging clouds of acid which attempt to scour you free of flesh, so that nothing remains but the pulsing, throbbing of your now bare organs, set in the scarlet horror of muscles and veins as you scream... scream in horror as your now exposed flesh burns as if being consumed by a flame that never ends?

You're not a pessimist are you?

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354444)

I'm still learning. It can get pretty hairy sometimes, trying to avoid buildings and wires and stuff.. One time I was headed straight for the ground, the speed was incredible... Luckily I ran out of gas just before I was about to hit

Re:I fly in my dreams.... (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354720)

I used to do that when I was younger, but since I've been a grown up I haven't had any flying dreams...

I could never fly very fast, but I could keep myself up in the air long enough to stay away from whoever or whatever was giving me problem. I basically jumped up and started swimming through the air. Sometimes I'd have a rest up a tree.

Not in my experience (3, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353920)

Usually I just end up dreaming about whatever game I was playing. That's hardly "control."

Re:Not in my experience (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354028)

You're not a true gamer until you dream of tetris blocks falling on a regular basis.

Re:Not in my experience (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354744)

I've never dreamed of Tetris blocks, but I have dreamed of arrows and boulders, which constituted the major hazards of a puzzle game that I used to play.

Re:Not in my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354796)

I haven't had tetris blocks, but i have had text based dreams, when i spent too long mudding in the 90's. I still know the spams to get from caemlyn to whitebridge in wotmud!

Re:Not in my experience (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354806)

I've been through a period of that. Also, a period of dreaming about Doom, a period of dreaming about Diablo, and a period of dreaming about Magic: The Gathering. Some of my best dreams were going into an attic and finding hundreds of ancient and valuable M:TG playing cards. Probably getting that one halfway scrambled with stories of old baseball cards, I can only guess.

I've also had dreams about a stick-figure game I play called Kingdom of Loathing, up to and including dreams where I meet and have conversations with the game's creators. (I have met the creators, but this was years before that happened.)

Is that true gamery enough for you?

Re:Not in my experience (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354838)

Or worse. Being surrounded by brown 'R's and yellow 'c's.

We'll always be together in electric dreams (5, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353928)

I don't know about games, but last night I did an in-dream Wikipedia search on a piece of botany I encountered in a dream. It was pretty freaking weird. Very realistic too, as the wikipedia entry was quite inaccurate.

Re:We'll always be together in electric dreams (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354486)

[citation needed]

Electric Sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32353936)

so this raises the question, what do electric sheep play?

Re:Electric Sheep (4, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353970)

so this raises the question, what do electric sheep play?

Whatever they play, they play it baaadly.

Re:Electric Sheep (1)

mim (535591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354064)

android chess?

Practicing martial arts did more (3, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353940)

OK, so this is going to be very corny in a karate kid / Bruce Lee "Enter the Dragon" sort of way, but my nightmares of running away from aggressors while my legs turned to molasses got much better after a few years of studying martial arts. They'd still catch up with me, but then I'd have some things to give to them in return and I'd wake up feeling good rather than miserable.

I probably don't play the right video games, but the dreams induced by L4D are mostly tedious rather than scary. Except when I spawn as the infected. Then I'm absolutely terrified.

Re:Practicing martial arts did more (1)

craash420 (884493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354756)

Except when I spawn as the infected. Then I'm absolutely terrified.

I know what you mean. After watching one of the "... of the Dead" movies I dreamed that I was fighting in a zombie war. After a particularly viscous battle I said "That was rough; but at least we're winning. We are winning, right? It's almost over?" My brother-in-arms didn't answer. I looked over to see why and noticed he didn't have a lower jaw, eyelids, or a left arm. He looked back at me, sighed, and shuffled on toward the next town.

Nothing to do with video games (2, Informative)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353950)

As a teenager, I used to try controlling my dreams, and it actually sort of worked. I was sometimes able, in my dream, to realize it's a dream and decide about stuff happening in it, or decide waking up. I can't quite remember details now, but I do remember I was fascinated with all that was possible.

Video games didn't exist at the time.

I think this has nothing to do with video games, and everything to do with age and the mental ability and desire to experiment with stuff like that.

Re:Nothing to do with video games (3, Insightful)

Droce (1736948) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353990)

You're not very good with logic are you, mate? They say gaming helps, plenty of people can do without it. I have lucid dreams all the time and I've been gaming for 10 years. Not everyone who can control dreams play games, but a disproportional amount of people who play games can control their dreams, according to the article.

Re:Nothing to do with video games (2, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354296)

You're kind of a dick aren't you, mate? Your post would have been just fine without the condescending first sentence.

Re:Nothing to do with video games (3, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354460)

Stack overflow in recursive function!

I have had many dreams become game-like (4, Interesting)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32353960)

I admit that gaming and gaming themes have many times infiltrated my dreams. I remember a couple years ago I had an odd dream where there were zombies or something in them, and in the dream I was able to fight them off using powers similar to those of Paladins in games.

However, was I better prepared to handle this strange dream because of the influence of gaming, or did I dream about zombies in the first place because of games and horror films?

Secondly, if dreams are like scenarios that our brain plays out to practice dealing with threats, does that mean that those who immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy in science fiction entertainment (either in the form of television, movies, or games) to the point that they seep into their dreams end up training their brain to practice running through scenarios that are in reality a waste of the brain's time to consider?

Well... a waste up until the zombie apocalypse actually occurs, of course.

Re:I have had many dreams become game-like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354300)

I admit that gaming and gaming themes have many times infiltrated my dreams.

This tends to happen to me when I have a new game and I play far, far too much of it. When MOH:AA came out back in 2002 I had some very intense dreams that were basically killing German soldiers all night long after a considerable time playing online squad deathmatch. And by considerable time I mean basically all weekend.

I've had the same thing happen with other games, most recently Dwarf Fortress. I find that sleep occurring during such episodes tends to not be restful at all as it is an endless rehashing of the same theme ad nauseum.

Re:I have had many dreams become game-like (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354574)

Well... a waste up until the zombie apocalypse actually occurs, of course.

Well, either that, or ending up working in an office environment.

However, was I better prepared to handle this strange dream because of the influence of gaming, or did I dream about zombies in the first place because of games and horror films?

Doesn't really matter in a sense, you're still mentally preparing to gun down unarmed folks just trying to get a bite to eat using a shotgun...I can think of situations where that might come in handy ;-)

Fascinations seem to fascinate me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32353968)

Ever noticed how once you gain interest in a field (lucid dreaming in my case) you begin to see it appear everywhere you go? Paradigm shifts... I shall go into intensive gaming to conquer my dreams.

Re:Fascinations seem to fascinate me (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354194)

Eh that's just confirmation bias. A common problem with perceptual reality.

Always entertaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32353986)

I don't know about you guys, but I always find my dreams quite entertaining. Even the ones that most folks would consider to be nightmares.

Hard Core Tetris? (1)

mim (535591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354008)

Blocks...Keep...Falling!!!

Re:Hard Core Tetris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354714)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE_1KlWFJyA

Tetris - The Movie.

A brother dies. A hero is born. Get in line for adventure. Tetris is here

Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354032)

What this article is talking about is "lucid dreaming", or being able to control your dreams. While this sounds like a good idea in theory, in practice it is dominated by the worst sort of idiots. It is directly tied to Shamanism, out-of-body experience, and other ridiculous theistic tropes that have long been discredited in our scientific atheist world. "Amazing Lucid Dreaming Kit! Mind Blowing Results. 29 FREE Lucid Dreaming mp3 Audios. New Technology Combines Binaural Frequencies, Hypnosis and Subliminals." Does this sound like something that an educated person would have anything to do with? HELL NO! But here it is, presented as acceptable, on the front page of slashdot. Sad...sad.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354082)

I'm running Lucid. I dreamed about fixing all the bugs with my USB floppy, Radeon r100, and Xconfiguration. Then I woke up and wished I was running Slackware.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (3, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354128)

Just because there are many quacks that get involved with the subject of lucid dreaming doesn't mean that the entire subject is without interest or merit.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354282)

"Just because there are many quacks that get involved with the subject of Teabaggers doesn't mean that the entire subject is without interest or merit."

You see how fucking stupid you sound right now?

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

spiralpath (1114695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354428)

I don't see how stupid he sounds, even with your ridiculous replacement. Studying the "Teabaggers" certainly has merit: how does a populist uprising occur, how is it manipulated by large structures like the media and political parties, does racism factor in and how heavily, etc.

Another example would be belligerent idiots replying to posts to spout stagnant, myopic ideological nonsense. How can an anti-religious, anti-conservative fail at communicating his worldview to a group of people predisposed to his message? A case study is in order. Just hit reply!

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354512)

"Just because there are many quacks that get involved with the subject of medicine doesn't mean that the entire subject is without interest or merit."

You see how fucking stupid you sound right now?

Right back at ya.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

ChristofferC (1025109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354252)

Actually, lucid dreaming has nothing to do with dream control. Lucid dreaming only means that you are aware of that you are lying in your bed dreaming. It does not necessarily mean that you have control over your dreams.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354260)

Wow, who is modding this up? Many people have lucid dreams who are not involved in the nonsense mentioned in any way. The two, in fact, have no necessary connection.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354356)

It's more like, "judge a man by the company he keeps". Or as They Might Be Giants said, "This is where the party ends, I can't stand here listening to you and your racist friend. I know politics bore you, but I feel like a hypocrite talking to you and your racist friend." As soon as you take this position, you're in bed with the worst kind of theistic believer, and that simply cannot be good, ever.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354618)

Please define how you're using "lucid dreaming", so we can figure out why your definition differs from the one used by everyone else in the world.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (2, Insightful)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354320)

Serious scientific research can be done on lucid dreaming and there might be something worth learning from it (e.g. how does it happen, why is it allowed to happen?) and just because it is tied to theology and other non-scientific aspects of the human experience is no reason to just toss it out as being uninteresting. Lucid dreaming is actually a phenomenon that we know happens, that we can record markers for in sleep laboratories, and that there is still a lot of interesting things that can be learned about it.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

spiralpath (1114695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354338)

So because the manipulation of consciousness has played a role in shamanism, it's not "acceptable" to investigate? Not even in relation to new technologies and modern methods of constructing virtual worlds?

While your atheism sounds good in theory, in practice you're just being a wonder-killing, generalizing butthole.

P.S. Shamanism is probably better classified as animistic, not theistic. The ethnomedical component of shamanism has also been extremely useful for humanity in the many thousands of years before Western medicine, and remains useful in the treatment of culture-specific diseases (especially psychological ones). Out of body experiences are real psychological phenomena and worth studying as well.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354594)

Like I said, good idea in theory, total bullshit in practice. Unless you're willing to ally yourself with theists who actually believe bullshit like this:

"Rebecca Turner is a successful online entrepreneur who created a website to teach people about lucid dreaming, aptly named World of Lucid Dreaming. She's been a regular participant in our discussion forums. After watching her openly share eBusiness tips with other forum members over a period of months, I asked her if I could interview her for my blog, so she can share what she's learned with many more people.
Rebecca used Site Build It! to create her website. Since many people are curious about what kind of real-world results can be achieved with Site Build It!, I asked her if she'd be willing to share specific traffic and income figures from her business' first year online, and thankfully she agreed. I think you'll find her results encouraging.
If you aren't familiar with lucid dreaming, a lucid dream is a dream where you become consciously aware that you're dreaming. With practice you can learn to do all sorts of amazing things in lucid dreams -- fly like Superman, wield a light saber, jump around like Trinity in The Matrix, create dream characters out of thin air, move objects by thought, defeat the Kobayashi Maru, and lots more. Erin and I are both experienced lucid dreamers."

You can understand how you are allying yourself with the worst sort of "believer". Come on...Kobayashi Maru? WTF? How can educated folk actually believe in this sort of transparent bullshit? This deserves the worst kind of derision and disrespect that we, as a culture, can dish out. But nooooo....let's all sign up for "Site Build It!" through the affiliate link! Then let's go to church! Praise Hermes!

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

whiplashx (837931) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354368)

I started taking a medication years ago that made my dreams more vivid, and for the last 4 or 5 years I have lucid dreams almost every morning right before I wake up. I find them very interesting, and I have often wondered about dreams and if their evolutionary purpose is to train us for potential threat situations.

So yes, I am interested in hearing more research on this topic.

I remember reading a previous slashdot story about dreams being "threat simulators" and a lot of people were quite skeptical that dreams could actually serve this purpose. Anecdotally, most people recounted dreams that seemed pointless and unrealistic. I would argue that those dreams could have actually been training them in many ways that those people don't realize.

Any time your dream changes in a way that is totally unrealistic, you learn to expect the unexpected. And if that's true, then dreaming really is an important area of human study.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354370)

Does this sound like something that an educated person would have anything to do with?

Well, while I was a student still, and was doing a paper on navigation systems in AI, I needed to do a lot of simulation runs stepping through the navigation algorithms with various environmental layouts (ie: set up different obstacles and mazes and figure out which ones break each algorithm) - since I trained myself to do the lucid dreaming thing years before that, it was easy, I just went to sleep, and used my dream to do test runs every night for a week. In the morning, I'd write out the results, and do the implementation to verify it - I managed to get good results from it. That sounds like a pretty serious academic application to me.

Of course, I never had anything to do with the "FREE Lucid Dreaming mp3 Audios" and crap like that, since I learned in the 80's and early 90's, before the mp3 and Spam existed. I had to do it the old fashioned way, asking myself if I was awake all the time, coming up with "am I dreaming?" tests, and writing down everything from every night's dream so that I had a chance of remembering it. And then burning it, because seriously man, I wouldn't want anyone reading that crap.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (1)

happyg (981453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354398)

This is one of the scariest arguments I've ever seen. You're saying we should avoid a topic because some crazies have taken a liking to it. An analogous argument is that because there are faith healers, homeopathic "cures," and the like, we shouldn't study medicine. Not only should we not study medicine, but any educated person would clearly avoid the discussion of medicine. Lucid dreaming exists. There's nothing mystical about it. The fact that there are crazies and disreputable individuals trying to make a profit off it doesn't diminish that fact.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (3, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354458)

WTF does this have to do with atheism? I'm an atheist, and I've had lucid dreams. It's a phenomenon, not a religion. Charlatans encroach on any phenomenon, doesn't make it any less real. Just like spammers selling fake viagra doesn't mean that real viagra doesn't work.

Re:Lucid Dreaming = teh suck (2, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354612)

You might want to run a search on the phrase "Association fallacy," Mr Science.

There's plenty of Grade-A bullshit surrounding the subject, that's for sure. But what has this article got to do with it? Nothing at all as far as I can see.

Dream worlds (4, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354066)

Dream world of the past:
Unicorns & Fairies

Dream world of the future (or Present):
Unlimited Minerals & Vespene Gas

Re:Dream worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354374)

You require more Vespene gas.

Re:Dream worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354636)

Don't forget having more than enough pylons

"Hot. Naked. Elf. Sex." (3, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354732)

Personally, I hope for Unicorns & Elf Girls every night--the unicorns for fast travel in style, and the elf girls for why the fuck else would I want elf girls!? [mania.com]

No threat.... (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354074)

Based on my experience dabbling with online FPS play, most of the gamers would sooner die that admit they 'felt threatened' by anything other than their Moms. And usually they will express such bravado while throwing in a few random epithets for good measure.

I wonder if the researchers had dream reports like 'Whatever dumbass. Only fags are afraid of dreams you noob. Don't be such a bitch you fag.'

Re:No threat.... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354912)

Those researchers have a thankless job. They're always getting called "spectators" and blamed for the "fucking goddamn lag".

Yup. (4, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354092)

Been a lucid dreamer [wikipedia.org] ever since I started playing video games, around 20 years. It changes the nature of nightmares - when dreams are a story you're telling yourself, there's a certain point where you can just go "OK this is too far, it's my turn." The nature of nightmares then becomes indefinite fears, overcoming anxious situations gracefully (or not), and fear of the consequence of one's own actions, as these are fears one cannot just turn the tables on, even if one knows they are fake.

I find this alteration of nightmares is actually much better than the usual boogeyman/hunted dreams in adapting one for modern life. Facing anxiety is a much more important limitation than just getting hurt or hiding from a malicious force - desensitizing yourself to indefinite fears is much more adaptive than desensitizing yourself to monsters or gore.

Also, the expectation of 'fun' from exploration of the unknown is a much better expectation for modern things than it used to be. It really opens up one to learn more than a fear-based experience would be. It's part of why I love to see games being developed - the expansion of people's expectations, the expansion of experience in more people's minds. Books have offered a lot of that - but the exploration has always been new ideas exposed, as opposed to the true sense of open discovery.

Games aren't all good, of course, but I think this is a widely ignored benefit to the mindset that games allow to exist.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Yup. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354410)

I used to lucid dream all the time, till I tried to manifest something so scary I couldn't control it one night. I only get to lucid dream about once every two weeks now, but that also might be attributed to my lack of gaming, as I've made a severe drop in the amount I'd play.

What dreams? (1, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354104)

Gamers smoke a lot of pot. Pot inhibits REM sleep.

Re:What dreams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354314)

Gamers smoke a lot of pot. Pot inhibits REM sleep.

MOD PARENT UP! I used to have ~80% lucid dreams (as in, they'd be lucid up to a point, and then devolve into havoc, but that's not the point). Now, I don't dream.

++violence; what about porn? (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354114)

So that settles the debate: simulated violence is good for you.

Obviously that applies at least as much to sex. Right?

Re:++violence; what about porn? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354596)

You wouldn't believe how good an Orgasm can be when you control it from your subconscious. It's unlike anything else ever experienced.

That reminded me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354126)

Once the Devil approached a doomer saying: I will fulfil any your three wishes, then send you to the Hell; agree?

The doomer replied: 1) IDDQD, 2) IDKFA, 3) Send me to the Hell !

The Devil smiled siniously and sent him to the Hell. With the NIGHTMARE settings.

(c an ancient Russian joke)

that explains my dreams. (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354144)

"dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills"

When I was in college, I used to dream in c++. God damn segfaults got me every time.

Re:that explains my dreams. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354858)

You joke, but I can't tell you how many times dreaming of coding happened to me when I was a CS major in college. I couldn't get my brain to stop trying to solve coding problems when I slept. I would literally wakeup and go code what I had just dreamed before I forgot the solution.

This was the leading reason I changed majors out of CS. I couldn't handle having my mind do work 24/7 even while sleeping. I knew if I stayed a CS major, then I'd eventually find myself programming and in this vicious cycle devoid of any actual rest.

strange (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354166)

well this is strange then, I don't remember playing strip-poker.

Highly Recommended (3, Funny)

Wowlapalooza (1339989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354180)

As a gamer, I've discovered that not only can I control my dreams, but I've actually found several cheat codes that have allowed me to fulfill those dreams in real life. Example: I can cast fireballs from my fingertips in real life, so don't piss me off, ok?

Ob. Pet Peeve: (mis)characterizing all computer games with a rich video element as "videogames". Is WoW, for example, really a "video" game? Is the video the main point of playing the game, the thing that keeps people grinding away at for 30 hours a week or more, for years of their lives? I don't think so. The video component of the game isn't even close to being photorealistic, nor does it try to be...

control yourself or an avatar? (1)

thinsoldier (937530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354204)

But which has the most control over their dreams? First Person players or Third Person Players?

Re:control yourself or an avatar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354620)

But which has the most control over their dreams? First Person players or Third Person Players?

Obviously the one who moves between the two at will. I've done this sometimes in dreams where I knew I was dreaming and took control.

E.G. Last Night (2, Interesting)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354242)

I had something very much like this happen to me last night. Before going to sleep I had been playing World of Goo as well a dose of the latest Pokemon game (MANCHILD ALERT). I remember my dream last night had something to do with me blowing out the tires on my new car and basically making a wreck of the whole machine. What I ALSO remember is explicitly telling myself, mid-dream, that "Oh well, at least it's just a dream. But it sucks that I have to deal with this wreck until I wake up."

Direct causation? Not even close. But still it's an interesting idea that control over our "synthetic" virtual worlds might also translate, to a certain degree, over to our more "natural" virtual worlds.

Play video games - turn nightmares into wet dreams (2, Funny)

nermaljcat (895576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354254)

"Live Science reports that researchers say that playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma."

yeah... and it also provides the ability to get laid!! =D

compulsive dream-gaming (1)

dickbot (1116661) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354280)

my case is slightly different. I tend to pursue my daily gaming after I go to sleep, usually in the form of 'dream-gaming' : long, detailed sessions of the game I was playing while awake happening all in my dreams.

At some point when I was (admitedly) playing way too much texas-hold-em, I would keep playing in my dreams, often several hundred hands a night, and could even wake up knowing how much I had 'made' or 'lost' that particular night. I could also remember vividly most of the hands, my opponents' characteristics and the session's specific vibe.

used to be the same when i was playing (admitedly) too much UO: I would go as far as MACROING in my sleep sometimes.

just a backdoor for videogame litigation (1)

waambulance (1766146) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354390)

if one can prove that videogames affect the "subconscious", lawmakers could use this as a precedent that videogames "make people violent". it would hold as much weight as other experiences that affect a persons "subconscious", and by extension, their behavior.

This is BAD ... very very bad (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354402)

I was in a raid of 25 entering the Frostwing Halls in Icecrown Citadel when all of a sudden a bunch of fucking Counter Strike hackers came out and blew our shit away. I mean - WTF?!

You still don't understand? World of Warcraft is not VAC secured .... that means the CS players can hack! .... oh, never mind!

Makes you wonder... (2, Interesting)

MotherErich (535455) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354404)

While video games are good at allowing people fight off nightmares, is there any correlation between playing video games just before bed and having nightmares? Also, makes you wonder, how does this state of awareness in the dream world affect your actual sleep. I would think it would make REM and a good night's rest more difficult to achieve. But of course that's just a thought.

Lucid dreaming short howto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354478)

Lucid dreaming is mainly about being award that you are dreaming! Controlling the dream comes after that. But even without controll its a overwhelming experience!!

Try it your self (short howto):

1. First you have to remember your dreams. Otherwise you may not remember your Lucid dreams.
To train this just write down what you remember directly after waking up. This memorys will fade fast! But after writing it down for some time you will become better remembering it.

2. The best time to become lucied is the REM stage of your sleep. That would be the last 2-3 hours of your sleep. So set you buzzer to 5-6 hours. After that you get up(GET OUT OF THE BAD!) and wait for 10-15 min. Then you go back to bad.

So far, this seems to be one of the most succsesfull methode to get lucid.

3. Now you must learn to be award! Here are several ways to do this:
Read your dream notes and look for pattern. You may notice some of them in your dreams again.
If somethink isn't right look around you and see if everythink is like it is suppost to be. Any flying cats? Your hands look different? Why are you here? Yes how did you get HERE? Are you sue that THIS IS NOT A DREAM?

You also can use Triggers... like Water, or better somethink from your dream notes. Every time now you see Water you test if you are dreaming.

Want to know more?: http://dreamviews.com/ [dreamviews.com]

You may forgive my not so perfect english. But after all this is just a dream! Well... is it? :)

CSS Nightmares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32354746)

I once had a CSS Nightmare. No matter what I tried I couldn't get the same layout in all the browsers.

Has to be said (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#32354866)

This article screams out for an xkcd strip!

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