According to a psychologist named Jayne Gackenbach, people who played immersive video games were more likely to report lucid dreams. Gamers never had dream control over anything beyond their dream selves but they also were able to change perspectives from the first person to observer as if floating outside of their body. They didn’t code nightmares as “threatening.” Rather, they seemed to be having fun with dream situations that non-gamers coded as nightmares.
Psychologists consider nightmares as one of the symptoms of PTSD, and studies have shown incredibly high rates of nightmares ranging from 71 to 96 percent among PTSD patients. By contrast, just 3 to 5 percent of civilians reported the same levels of nightmares. Virtual reality simulators have already been used to help PTSD patients gradually adjust to the threatening situations that plague their waking and sleeping thoughts.
But do video games affect your ability to lucid dream? Can lucid dreaming be inspired by video games? Is there any correlation between the two? Since then, any time a dream has become frightening, the fear has triggered a lucid state. It always follows the same pattern:
The lucidity allows you to overcome the fear
Whatever you do during the day can become the kindling for dreams you have at night. Have you ever spent a lot of the day doing a particular activity, and then found yourself doing the same thing in your dream? What if that activity was a type of virtual reality? Would that virtual reality become your dream reality?
No matter what we do in the game, we’re still sitting on a comfortable couch in a warm house. The reinforcement that nothing can actually hurt us can transfer into our dream world, transforming our nightmares into lucid dreams.
Findings show how hardcore gaming affects the gamer’s experience and reaction to nightmares. They grow resistant to them, in the sense that bad dreams aren’t as likely to wake them up, and gamers are more likely to take control of them as a lucid main character and, perhaps, even find them enjoyable. This has rolled over into a theory that gaming can have an effect in dealing with real-life waking threats, as well.
The distinction between Reality, Virtual Reality, and Lucid Dreams are becoming harder to distinguish. However, what is present in all of them is that a brain is a remarkable tool and we are only just beginning to understand its potential. Games have provided Gamers with an introduction into alternative realities allowing Gamers this extra special skill for Lucid Dreaming, as their mind has already been trained to understand that multiple realities can exist at once. How will these new Realities change the world we live in?
If you are new to lucid dreaming or would like to give it a try check out this 8 Hour Lucid Dreaming Track that you play as you fall asleep to induce a Lucid Dream.