Pardon me if it sounds like I'm excited at the prospect that playing videogames can give me the ability to control dreams, but a new study suggests that it may be true.
Researchers at Grant MacEwan University in Canada recently looked at the existence of lucid dreaming, a dreamstate in which you can control the content of your psychological slumberworld, in young people that identified at gamers.
They found that, compared with individuals who didn't "game," there was a significantly higher report of lucid dreaming in those who did play videogames.
In addition, it seems that the content of these dreams differed between individuals. Gamers reported a consistent, smooth transition between first and third person dreams (a perspective that is common in videogames), as well as increased control over their emotional approach to the game.
Perhaps most importantly, gamers seemed to approach dreams with a greater sense of challenge rather than despair - rather than becoming frightened with nightmares, gamers tended to take a more proactive approach to dealing with their terrifying alternate worlds. Such an effect might have implications for prescribing "videogame therapy" for those with frequent nightmares or those with PTSD.
Either way, this is just another piece of evidence that videogames might do a bit more than just turn your brain to mush. Take that, mom!