Gamers “Can Control Dreams”

By Jim Rossignol on May 28th, 2010 at 12:29 pm.

Jim Rossignol in a dream, yesterday
Some fascinating stuff about gamers and lucid dreaming is reported over on LiveScience. The piece discusses the work of Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. She seems to have found a connection between gaming and “dream control”. Relevant bit below.

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.

To throw in my own anecdotal non-evidence, I’ve found I’ve had increasing control in dreams in the past few years. And increasingly frequent “videogame” dreams. I assumed it was just a factor of getting older, but perhaps it’s profound changes being wrought on my brain by over-exposure to pixellated mind-bombs. Thanks to reader “Jerricho” for the link. [We've actually covered some of this material before here.]

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80 Comments »

  1. Doeke says:

    Did you have to include a Psychonauts screenshot? It’s cruel. :(

    Also, I wish I could do the lucid dreaming thing. Sounds like fun. I guess I should start playing more games. :D

    • Jerricho says:

      You can be the RPS guineapig then. Let us know if you start having more lucid dreams after your gaming sessions. And if you play GTA too much we’ll just keep an eye on the papers to see if you become a homicidal maniac.

    • Spoiler Duck says:

      There are some very reliable (and I can confirm worked for me) methods for lucid dream induction. Wikipedia actually has all the information you’ll need.

  2. Richard Beer says:

    Fascinating. I’ve had plenty of dreams about being inside a computer game – not surprising, I suppose, if what you did before going to bed was play something solidly for 6 hours – although that doesn’t really happen to me much these days. I remember one such incident from about 20 years ago where I dreamed the solution to a level in Lemmings I’d been stuck on for hours.

    I totally agree about the turning-fighting-thing, too. Whenever I have dreams about zombies or monsters, they’re actually very entertaining! I’m the hero.

    • snv says:

      Thanks to that i never had a nightmare since i was a small kid

      Also, i usually have lucid dreams, which makes getting up so much harder.

  3. Huggster says:

    The problem with dream research is that it is completely subjective, extremely hard to measure scientifically (apart from the state the brain is in) and very anecdotal. They do not even know for sure the purpose dreaming – though its likely to be rehearsals of fight / flight response.
    Still – its very, very interesting!

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      not everything the body does has a purpose, the desire to attribute purpose to dreams is an enactment of the same process as dreaming, simulating.

  4. Jerricho says:

    I had a dream once with a save point.

    • Gotem says:

      Did it support cloud saving so you could continue your dream while sleeping in another bed?

  5. Malagate says:

    I’m really not surprised by this, as I’m of the opinion that you dream of what you know.

    What I’d be curious about is if a gamer who hacks/uses cheats would have more control over their dreams than normal gamers?

    Do gamers who play buggy games have more nightmares about falling through the world and getting stuck in doors?

    Do dwarf fortress enthusiasts dream in ASCII? (I can confirm that some do, at least I used to when I played MUD’s a lot).

    • DrazharLn says:

      I have lucid dreams where I open the console to do things. Opening the console in real life, however, is part of a recurring joke with one of my friends, so cause is muddled somewhat.

  6. Samuel Bigos says:

    Always wanted to be able to do this, better start playing more games.

  7. Lilliput King says:

    I had an Eve Online mining dream.

    Deep down, I worry I’m a boring person.

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i pretty much always have dictated the terms of my lucid dreams, i think it might be case of fantasists being attracted to computer games and a connection between fantasists and dream-controllers

    • Richard Beer says:

      This is an interesting point. Which way does the causality flow?

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Disclaimer: I am no psychologist, this is all basically a hunch, but I am a maverick.

      i would suggest that the ability to control your dreams and to be a fantasist comes from a specific way your brain applies it’s simulation capabilities, if there was a photoshop tolerance tool for possibilities a simulation can take, it would need to be set high and you would have to be prone to select fairly positive outcomes, also the choice of outcome would have to take place in your brains user mode not the kernal (lol i don’t know what i’m talking about).

    • Richard Beer says:

      Don’t worry, I don’t know what you’re talking about either! My point is whether gamers are lucid dreamers, or lucid dreamers are naturally drawn to gaming because, as you say, they’re more prone to be fantasists who can imagine worlds, and gaming provides a structure for that.

  9. wat says:

    “Do gamers who play buggy games have more nightmares about falling through the world and getting stuck in doors?”

    It’s not because I play buggy games, but it occurs to me very often that my dream world breaks down as if it was a poorly programmed game. ie clipping, texture glitches, rubberbanding, abysmally bad companion AI, etc.

    I have not had a nightmare in many years because anytime a dream starts going that way, I just kind of morph out of the dream itself and become a detached observer with a controller / keyboard and mouse in my hand.

    I havent played WoW in over two years and I still have very vivid dreams of running around Teldrassil as a NE hunter.

    Lucid dreaming fascinates me. I have attained lucidity only twice in my life, and very briefly. It is my ongoing endeavour to improve this.

    • Snuffy (the Evil) says:

      This happens to me sometimes, except I CAN’T PRESS ESCAPE. I end up trapped in a rapidly crumbling dreamworld where nothing works while everything else is trying to kill me.

      And then I’m naked.

  10. Malleus says:

    That happened with me a few times and it was cool. I realized I’m dreaming and I realized I can do whatever I want, including changing the world around me and everything.

    Wish it would happen more often, because most of the time my dreams are just some bullshit nonsense, and even if I realize it’s just a dream, all I can do is wake myself up with some struggle. God I hate dreams…

  11. Miked says:

    When you try and Ctrl+Z out of a dream you can suspect there are serious problems…

  12. Out Reach says:

    I actually lucid dream quiet a bit (a few times a month). I don’t normally discuss it with people, because the idea of it freaks them out (especially when they have never done it) but also because lucid dreaming is such a free form environment people always want examples of what you made happen in your own dreams, which is more often then not private fantasies (^^) or an idea you actually had cross bread with random nonsense you subconscious throws up. In short these are the 3 things I normally end up saying on the subject:

    1- Yes it can become a nightmare, and go out of control.
    2- Yes you can make ANYTHING HAPPEN.
    3- YES ANYTHING.

  13. Serenegoose says:

    hah, I can’t lucid dream. I mean, the problem for me is that nothing of ‘me’ carries over into the dreams. I get a whole chunk of false memories and absolutely no knowledge of anything before I slept, and the illusion is so convincing I never think to check it. I’ve been gaming for as long as I remember (hells, I remember playing flashback when it just came out – I was 5) and I’ve never lucid dreamed before.

  14. Ravenholme says:

    I’ve had what she’s actually reporting, which isn’t quite lucid dreaming (You can’t control your entire dream), but being able to control “yourself” in a dream. It’s what I’ve had as far back as I can remember, I just assumed it was normal.

    Makes for some interesting dreams, though.

  15. Prankster says:

    Some stuff to help with lucid dreaming, practice just being in the moment and quiet down all the internal dialogue that the mind churns out. As its that chatter that will be still going on while you are dreaming, telling you that this is just a dream and not ‘real’ ect, hence you wont pay any attention to whats going on, resulting in not being able to remember what you dream was about the next day.

    Its this being in the moment state, is what i’am guessing ist the research is finding out. To play a game well you have to be in the virtual world fully as there can be alot going on, so that keeps your mind occupied and turns down that internal chatter.

    What can really help is doing activites you normally do not do, just as simple as taking a different way home from school/work will keep your mind in the moment. As you will be on a new journey you will be more alert than normal as you will have to be more aware of where you are going, or get lost.

  16. poop says:

    sometimes I dream myself playing videogames for several hours and then I wake up and im really mad at myself for wasting all that exciting dream potential >:(

  17. Boby says:

    So is it because of videogames?? I have been “dream-controlling” myself since I was very young (around 12). And I have developed some super powers too, I can fly and pass through material things without any effort at all, after some “training”. I have also tried to teleport but with a high risk of waking up… I will have to work harder on this or play more videogames, now that I know the reason for my lucid dreams ^^

  18. Bioptic says:

    This is obviously more indicative of my underlying personality than anything else, but dreams have always been about loss of control for me. I might be flying through the air, but as if dangling from a wire and unable to stop myself from smashing painfully into things. Travelling to impossible and fantastic places, but being constantly hunted and failing in all my attempts to do anything.

    Games almost certainly force you to be comfortable with the idea of the self as an external thing, and exterting control over an entity outside the first person, but what your brain does with that will be very much down to the individual. I can agree with the notion that those who enjoy the idea of control will be more drawn to games in the first place, though.

  19. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I’ve been lucid dreaming ever since I was young, and as the report suggests I do use it for testing stuff out and rehearsing scenarios (job interviews, meetings, presentations, social situations, dangerous situations, wondering where to go on holiday, even coding). It’s a really strange thing though, because as a previous commenter noted, things can quickly spiral out of control.

    In one I was wandering across some mooreland enjoying the sunshine, when I idly reflected that it was a bit like playing STALKER.

    It’s not a good idea to ‘idly reflect’ on things when you’re dreaming, especially when there’s no keyboard, you can’t switch weapons using the number keys or press ‘I’ for your inventory. There’s also no console either most of the time, and I certainly didn’t have the shotgun I needed to defend myself against the THING that had started pursuing me.

    On the plus side I did find an artifact, but couldn’t equip it or sell it.

    A tip for lucid dreaming: throughout your daily existence, get into the habit of periodicially asking yourself if you’re dreaming or not. Keep checking every so often. Look for weird stuff, such as tiny doors in skirting boards, a meeting/school lesson occuring in your garden at home or riding a bike that can fly and has a toilet attached to it. Once the ‘reality check’ habit’s ingrained, you’ll find it carries over into your dreams too.

    If you find yourself in a dream, the following are very difficult to do for some reason: reading and writing, turning lights on and off, shouting, running and remembering stuff from your waking life. S3x can also be tricky sometimes thanks to the average mattress not being quite as accommodating as a laydee. There are various reasons for these things being tricky, and the one about lights has been documented in Celia Green’s book on Lucid Dreaming amongst other places (I honestly thought that one was just me, but apparently it’s commonly reported the light switches don’t work in dreams, possibly due to ambient light levels in the sleeper’s environment).

    If you need to wake up in a hurry because things have gone pearshaped, try and remember your name, open your eyes really wide, look at yourself in a mirror (not for the faint hearted) or generally make loads of noise.

    If you find yourself dreaming and manage to stay in the state for a little while, try watching TV. That’s always entertaining. Or flying: see how high you can get, and see what happens as you get higher and higher.

    I love lucid dreaming, and I think it’s one of the reasons why I love games so much too.

    • Senethro says:

      S3x? I can have the second sequel to sex in a dream? I’m going to spend the rest of my life asleep.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      Yeah, I ’3′ed out the ‘e’ because I’m at work atm. :)

    • Jesse says:

      You can go on as long as you want, this is fascinating.

      A little disappointed, though, thinking how much I’ll have to grind my reality checking before I’ll be able to look in a mirror like you suggest.

    • Jerricho says:

      I’ve often tried reading in dreams, its usually because I’ve gotten distracted from the dream itself by the set dressing and start examing things which have no real context in the dream, such as books. Reading in dreams is almost always gibberish and very hard work, I find that unless its something about the dream (in which case its not so much read as understood) I have to work hard to populate the text which means I invariably get a stream of nonsense and the effort required to fill in this blank generally either wakes me up or switches the dream to something completely different.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      Reading that wikipedia article on the lucid dreaming freaks me out – not sure why :p. Think it’s the reality testing – reading about that puts me in the same state of mind I get watching horror like The Ring etc.

  20. prinzipi0 says:

    What do you think about the point both, dreams and games, are in a way vehicles to escape your expierienced and as maybe “true” defined reality?

    So isnt gaming a way of dreaming and vice versa?

    Ok have to wake up now!

    cya in reality

  21. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Another… “study”. It’s a fine day when it comes the time to get that grant money.

    Jayne: Oh, look! Grants are in a few weeks. We need to publish something.

    Student (while playing in the lab computer): Damn you Miranda!

    Jayne: I was thinking something like a paper on Subliminal Stimuli. You know, how stimuli below the threshold for conscious perception can still influence the conscious mind. It could be useful for the advancement of science.

    Student (winces): Ugh! How about games? And dreams? That stuff, you know. dreams is all about psychology. I dunno… hmm.. Hey! How about how games can affect our dreams?

    Jayne: Don’t be an idiot!

    • Mike says:

      I’m not sure how jokey you’re being about that (some people are lovely and jovial while others are very cynical and bitter) but I imagine these people put a lot more effort into their study than people give them credit for. Whatever we think of their field, if they conducted their experiment well and analysed their results fairly, they deserve a little respect at least.

      Alternatively – heh!

      Delete as applicable. >_>

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Right, right… But if the study told you games were affecting dreams in a bad way, you probably wouldn’t be so… condescending about their efforts, or the quality of their study. Would you?

      So, really, “effort” isn’t even in my mind when I express my worries on how universities are managing and conducting research. So-called research; just a few days ago I was reading about a study showing that “washing your hands cleans doubt and clears your mind”.

    • Mike says:

      Actually, I’d be supportive either way. A lot of the studies that people scoff at in the media are either produced on the back of funding from a company that’s told them what to to do, or been extrapolated and blown up by the media reporting on it, or both. This appears to be neither; in fact, more and more people are interested in the way games affect people and are undertaking serious research into it.

      On Wednesday this week there was a conference on videogames and academic research at Imperial College, and one of the talks discussed the rehabilitation of stroke patients using “controlled game addiction” – in other words, a game which they wanted to play, but that also helped them recover their pre-stroke abilities. It would be quite easy to report on this story as “Playing Games Heals The Brain!” or “Tetris Used To Cure Strokes” or any number of other ways to report on it. But the fact is, these guys are trying to do meaningful research, no matter how it’s reported.

      When a journalist is presented with a piece of research, they have to interpret it in a way that will make it interesting and understandable to their readers. A lot can get lost in translation and make things seems stupid and trivial and useless. But that doesn’t mean that real progress isn’t being made beneath that.

      Looking up the guy behind this research, I can tell you that he’s worked on lucid dreaming for over two decades. This means that, much like the neuroscientist who works with stroke patients, gaming has become something he has moved into. He’s not a gamer who decided to write a paper on games.

      I’m not trying to be confrontational here, I just think that the era of Bad Science has made people perhaps over-judgemental of university research.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      [quote]I’m not trying to be confrontational here, I just think that the era of Bad Science has made people perhaps over-judgemental of university research.[/quote]

      Indeed. Make no mistake about that.

      And while one can forever argue the validity or not of some of this research, the posit — as far as I’m concerned — is to always keep a critical mind. Accepting the relevance of these studies at face value only serves the dormant minds (and the media always eager to curb those minds). Especially when we know two fundamental things about these “studies”:

      - The statistical evidence gathered is rarely ever representative.

      - The university grant mechanism, while a great method for scientific development on paper, has been instead fueling private commercial interests and has been limiting the scope and depth of research on its fields.

    • Mike says:

      All I’m saying is, I suppose, we haven’t read the raw research so we can’t comment on their methodology or their funding sources (I can’t find it on Google Scholar, annoyingly, but I will have another go later) so I’d rather not assume either way, and if anything would rather give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Well, one can hope it is soon to be published. If it has already, the article at LiveScience doesn’t say.

      Neither I couldn’t find it anywhere. The good doctor profile page at the IASD has a section for published material, but is empty. Meanwhile, her personal page makes no mention of it either.

      In any case, it should be published on an official magazine or other media for peer review soon enough, if it hasn’t already.

  22. Sic says:

    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.

    Never?

    Well, that’s just plain wrong.

    • sinister agent says:

      That would be because one of them was secretly controlling all of the others.

  23. jackflash says:

    The most lucid dream I’ve ever had was after I got Warcraft II about 15 years ago. I played the shit out of it, and then played it in my dreams all night long. It was actually a little exhausting.

  24. solipsistnation says:

    When Marathon: Infinity had just come out and I was playing it a LOT (8 or 10 hours a day for a while), I started dreaming in that style– I was exploring corridors and big open weird areas and so on…

    After reaching the one particularly cool dream in which I knew there was a jeep hidden somewhere (I just KNEW.), I decided to open it in the level editor and see where the secret stuff was. Then I went back and had the dream again, but this time I could find the jeep and the weapons and things I hadn’t found the first time through.

    I woke up and decided I should take a break from the game for a few days, laughed, and kept on playing.

  25. Wednesday says:

    I’ve experienced this a few times. I nearly always wake up fairly rapidly after “recognising” the dreamstate so to speak.

    • Mike says:

      Yeah, me too. The second I think “Oh, hang on a second, I get it.” I’m back in the real world.

      Which I guess also describes my relationship with most videogames, as I’m terrible at them. ¬_¬

    • Thursday says:

      Yeah I have that too – though I find if I roll back over and go right back to sleep while pondering it, I slip straight back into the same “dream world”. I have a brief period where I am fully conscious of the dream and actively watching it unfurl, but I don’t know if my conscious mind is having any control or influence over it then…. things just “happen”.

      It’s an interesting subject, I’d like to know more but I figure much of the details vary so greatly between people and it’s an inherently subjective topic. Which is of course why we know so little about it collectively.

  26. Crane says:

    I’m very seldom aware that I am dreaming, but I do have one interesting anecdote.
    I learned to fly in my dreams quite a long time ago (for me, it’s basically flapping my arms, but I have to concentrate on the sensation of air resistance for it to work).
    The odd thing is though, that when I’m in a dream, regardless of whether or not I’m aware it is a dream, I remember that I can fly because I learned how to do it in a dream.
    Strangely, I almost never think “Wait, that means THIS must be a dream as well!”

  27. Nesetalis says:

    I’ve been writing and gaming for most of my life.
    Especially tabletop RPGs and the like. I am a GM/DM, writer, gamer, and all around builder of worlds and stories. If I do not like something in a story I am working on, I fix it, rip it apart put it back together replace it completely.. whatever is needed.

    this does carry over in to my dreams.. I have frequent lucid dreams, and those dreams I tend to have vast control over.. like when GMing a game. I dont control what aspects come in to the picture, but I do control how long they stay and if they stay.. I can retcon anything in a dream and rewrite the story.

    in fact, most of my best stories have come from these such dreams. I write the story while asleep, then when i wake up, i try hard to keep it all in memory, rewriting it as plotpoints in my head… then rush to a computer to type out those plotpoints before they fade.

  28. Coal says:

    I can verify this to be true, after many hours playing Garry’s mod whenever I have a bad dream and there is something is after me, I can just noclip through everything ro safety!

  29. Scott says:

    I’ve learned that I will click on anything with Raz’s face on it.

  30. Amanda says:

    I do not lucid dream. I do, however have dreams where my sense of self is completely fluid. Some dreams I am myself, some dreams I am someone else (male or female, it seems random). Other dreams I am two people at once, sometimes having a discussion between myself. I’ve been a gamer all my life, so maybe ‘being’ someone else (or adventuring parties) in games has rubbed off on me. :)

  31. jozga says:

    As stupid as it sounds, a good way to start is to eat cheese before bed. I have very vivid dreams that are often lucid although I’ve always thought it was more to do with films than games – my dreams always seem to be really cinematic.

  32. D says:

    I don’t remember the last time I had a dream. It must have been about 3 years ago. I’m quite happy with the fact.

  33. catharsis says:

    I’ve gamed all my life, so I don’t know how much gaming influences my lucid dreaming ‘trigger’, but I was able to successfully lucid dream about 3 times in one week by eating a decent amount of sugar mere moments before sleep. Specifically, I ate a whole packet of the candy ‘fun-dip’, including the white stick. lol

    I find that I lucid dream without sound, and can only remain in the state for a few minutes before I become too aware that I am controlling my dreams and wake up. I’ve lucid dreamed without sugar before, but those instances are rare. I used to sleepwalk, I still sleeptalk and still occasionally get up and do things while sleeping.

  34. clive dunn says:

    I became fairly proficient at lucid dreaming when i was younger by keeping a vast encyclopedic dream diary. Could basically choose where i was going to be in my dream before going to sleep and then when in the dream do whatever the hell i liked. Tbh it got a bit boring as all the random crazy stuff seemed to die down and i ended up just flying around having sex. Yawn!
    Recently a chronic skunk habit has pretty much vapourised all my dreams. I still have them, but within 2 seconds of waking up all trace of them has gone.
    Can’t beat real life though.
    top tip; five jam doughnuts right before bed guarentee wicked dreams. Something in this sugar thing methinks

  35. Damien says:

    Dream lucidity is being aware that you are dreaming. Control has nothing to do wilth it.
    Interesting post thought!

    • Wulf says:

      Yeeeah, this is true. You can influence things, but control is a bit of a sketchy word to use.

  36. Wulf says:

    I taught myself to lucid dream, and moreover I know a few techniques to trigger lucid dreams even from a fully woken state, a couple of techniques I practised, twisted, and worked with until I got results.

    Suffice it to say, lucid dreams are amazing and they keep me sane. I think I’d go absolutely stark raving bonkers if I ever lost my ability to do that, because once you can, it’s not exactly something you want to stop.

    I’ve had some particularly vivid lucid dreams which have given me ideas for characters, settings, stories, and more. Mine are usually particularly psychedelic and trippy though, and they involve werewolves, of course. But it’s lots of fun, because it’s the sort of nonsense only my head could really produce.

    The only specific gaming dream I can recall though was when I was stuck in a 2D platformer, I remember being aware of this and somewhat put out by it, since it was an especially boring 2D platformer. I tried to convince the baddies to go on strike, but it wasn’t any use. >.>

    • Bee says:

      ” know a few techniques to trigger lucid dreams even from a fully woken state, a couple of techniques I practised, twisted, and worked with until I got results.”

      Wow man, that’s really cool of you to share those explicitly so everyone can benefit from the very thing you yourself wouldn’t want to live without!

  37. jalf says:

    aw, I must be a bad gamer. I can hardly ever even remember my dreams, much less control them.

  38. clive dunn says:

    Damien says: May 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm Dream lucidity is being aware that you are dreaming. Control has nothing to do wilth it.

    Sorry, didn’t even think that i’d need mention that. I’ve always took it for granted that i am aware that i am dreaming.

    Top tip no. 2 Drop lots of acid in your formative years. Then, if it’s good shit, your dreams become real

  39. Taillefer says:

    This subject came up in a comments thread a while back. Possibly in one of the Sunday Papers. I can’t remember now.

    A majority of my dreams are lucid and I’ve never had to train myself to do it. It’s something that’s been with me for as long as I can remember. And that often goes beyond just being aware, but having full control over my current dream, or even being able to pick the subjects of my dreams before I fall asleep. I used to get excited before going to sleep when I was little, ready for my next adventure! It was a long time before I learned most people couldn’t do that.

    I’ve also been gaming for as long as I can remember, but never thought to link the two.

    • Wulf says:

      Well, most people can, it’s just that they haven’t learned how, yet. It’s like hypnotic states, it can happen to nearly anyone, even the most difficult subjects, just have to find the key method that works. That’s why I’d actually encourage people to start looking into this if they’re interested and trying to train themselves. Those who can do it aren’t really magical or special, they just figured it out faster, on a subconscious level. It is so very fun, though, I have to say.

      As for me, I love me some psychedelic head trips that don’t need to rely on drugs, it’s a bit of fun, and usually I just do things this way: I tell my brain who I am, what represents me visually, and perhaps that I have some sort of purpose, and then I say “Go crazy go nuts!” Rather than dictating, I find my brain works better when it’s free-wheeling, and I’ve gotten so many ideas for things out of it. If I ever decide to write a book I’m probably going to find I have enough material for a few sagas.

      So really, if you’re reading and you’re interested in this, research it! There are techniques that can help greatly with inducing lucid dreams, and it’s really not hard either. You’ll thank me later.

    • Wulf says:

      And whiiiile I’m on the subject, I’ll also say that guided imagery via hypnosis is one of the most simply amazing things you’ll ever experience, if you let yourself run with it. There’s really so much untapped potential for creativity there, buuut… I fear that most people wouldn’t even consider trying it, because to most people it’s probably just a little bit strange.

    • Taillefer says:

      Yeah, I didn’t mean to imply most people lack the ability. Rather that they just don’t do it naturally, as you say. I recommend people pursue it.

      I am pretty magical, though.

  40. Kevbo says:

    I tried to teach myself to do lucid dreaming but I have never experienced it. I do remember my dreams much better than most and thinking of them makes me realize I probably don’t want to be able to control them. They are already crazy enough for me and very insightful.

  41. Psychedelic Squid says:

    *points* HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX!

  42. Wulf says:

    Dammit Jim, I’m a gamer, not a fringe psychologist! (Sorry, I had to.) But you had to bring up a topic that I’m really into. >.>

    Anyway, if anyone’s reading this and has been inspired to give this a try, might I suggest giving a WILD a go? This is a good site on achieving a WILD, or a Wake Initiated Lucid Dream, if you prefer. This is what my current method is based off of, it’s not exactly the same but very similar, and I’ve found it to be exceedingly potent.

    And if you do have some success with it, then report back, because it’s always fun hearing stories of what people have experienced when lucid-dreaming, because there are few things more preciously individual than dreams, which define each of us in a very separate way. Dreams are where the small changes between us escalate into massive differences, and the lack of inhibitions in a dream state can also help with that.

    • Joseph says:

      I really want to try that, but I am scared about this part (conscious sleep paralysis), because I have experienced it before a couple of times involuntarily, and found it to be one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced, very scary:

      “The transitional phase of WILD can be one of the most exciting aspects of the whole process. Some dreamers report strange and unusual sensations and sounds. It is also this phase that scares the most people, some to the point of abandoning their efforts to learn to WILD.”

      I thought the reason I was so scared was just because I was fully conscious and awake but could not speak or move, and so I thought something was wrong with me, that I might even be dying or going into a coma (i giggle now, but it was bloody scary:P) or something.

      But watching this video points to the fear centre of the brain being very active during it…

      http://www.dreamviews.com/community/vbtube_show.php?tubeid=52

      Considering trying anyway, I guess if I know it’s coming, I can prepared for it, and just try to relax through it. And hey, it didn’t kill me last time. :P

  43. Adrian says:

    I get those 3rd person dreams a lot and i love them :).
    I never been a huge star trek fan but after i watched the 2009 movie i had this dream where i was captain of the enterprise. It was the best dream i ever had :)

  44. hh says:

    Huh. I’ve always felt like I’m always in control of what I’m doing in my dreams. Guess this explains why.

    I always feel like I can choose precisely what I do. So in a way I’m playing RPGs even when I’m dreaming. Awesome.

  45. GameOverMan says:

    I started having lucid dreams when I was a teenager, I don’t know what triggered it. The problem was that the only way for me to escape from the dream world was to die. Eventually I stopped having them since it was traumatic waking up that way. Interesting fact: the german word for dream is traum.

  46. Lutkumuu says:

    I too have the option to save/reload things in my dreams. I haven’t had any nightmares lately, when I can just rewind back in time…

  47. Acerbjorn says:

    Well as i understand the article states that gamers are better at lucid dreaming is because we are accustomed to controlling a separate entity(The player character in games).