Study: Video Games Keep Out The Nightmares

Illustration for article titled Study: Video Games Keep Out The Nightmares

The Wall Street Journal has news of yet another gaming study, but this one's pretty darn interesting: Rather than judge video games' effect on violent behavior or socialization, the study looks at whether games can help people escape nightmares.

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Specifically, the study looked at military men and women, 64 of whom were "hard-core gamers" and 22 of whom were not, and found that the low-frequency gamers had much more threatening nightmares than the ones who played often.

Low-frequency gamers also reported being passive victims in their military dreams, while the high-frequency gamers were active participants. That games numb players to violence, often sided as a negative quality, may be beneficial for soldiers, the researchers said. The habit of fighting back, and winning, in video games, may carry over into the virtual world that arrives at 2 a.m.

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Now that is pretty cool.

Video Games Inoculate Against Nightmares [WSJ]

Top image from Roald Dahl's The BFG, who, being something called a "BFG" that destroys nightmares, seemed entirely appropriate for this story.

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DISCUSSION

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nightmare is a term a lot of people confuse. you can have nightmares without scary imagery. in fact, nightmares are most commonly this way. a nightmare could be as something mundane as your mom cooking you sugar cookies and you wanted chocolate chips. dreams are symbolic. nightmares are usually a way of your mind telling you something is wrong in the real world, or something in the real world is disturbing you but it doesnt always seem like this after the dream.

what makes a nightmare is that you wake up afterward and that you feel shaken or alert or terror. it is a common misconception that urinating in dreams and waking up means you need to go to the bathroom or youll wet the bed. this is a common nightmare. you can go through the night without wetting the bed.

people like to think they weird/macabre dreams are nightmares. sometimes they are; sometimes they arent. its only dreams that are affecting your sleep. they can be mundane like going to the bathroom over and over. you can have disturbing dreams that arent nightmares. i had a dream where i fell off a cliff (normally associated with nightmares but this wasnt one) and i died when i hit the ground. i spent the rest of the dream wandering around as a ghost trying to interact with the world. i sleep like a baby though so it wasnt a nightmare.