A week and a half ago, I read a fascinating article about lucid dreaming and hardcore gaming. In this article, a psychologist Jayne Gackenbach (Gesundheit!)†posits that hardcore gamers often have more instances lucid dreams. In other words, gamers often have bizarre dreams and many cases, know that they are dreaming.
I decided to have my own not at all scientific experiment to see if this was true. No stranger to bizarre dreams which I always thought were beer induced, I would take note of all dreams that I remembered and rate them on how bizarre they were and whether I felt like I was in control. During this week, I made sure to play at least one hour a night before bed. This was going to be fun.
Iím in my backyard with my dog. I live in a wooded area, but my yard is much more overgrown in my dream than it is in reality. In my dream, my yard is damn near forest like.
All of a sudden, I see a bundle of sticks hurdling towards me. It hits me with such force, Iím knocked to the ground. My dog, flees, leaving me to fend for myself, which is not unlike her. For a lab/shepherd mix, she is useless and afraid of her own fucking shadow.
I quickly realize that the trees are alive and are throwing whatever they can get their arm-branches onto. They are pissed and are beating the ever loving shit out of me.
My wife finally wakes me up. She says that I was tossing and turning and whining like a little girl.
Bizarre Factor: 10/10 This dream was absolutely terrifying. Who the hell has dreams of killer trees? I can also confirm that I was not playing any games with killer trees. I reckon that this dream came about from recently watching the Wizard of Oz.
I have a 19-month-old daughter and she is infatuated with the movie Cinderella. She watches it so much that my wife and I are starting to lose it. Weíre struggling to find another movie for her to watch. My daughter put the kibosh when we tried The Little Mermaid. She looked at us like we were nuts when we put on Pinocchio. My daughter was not having any of it.
Then one night, flipping through the channels, I noticed that the Wizard of Oz was on. I never watched the movie from start to finish so I decided to sit through and see whether it would be appropriate. It had singing, dancing, dogs, and fairies or some shit like that. Everything a little girls wants.
Sweet fucking dreams.
It also has terrifying munchkins, witches, flying monkeys, and killer trees. Iím nuts for even considering for a moment subjecting my daughter to it.
Lucidity Factor: 2/10 Early on in the dream, I felt like I was in control, but it quickly went downhill from there. In the end, my wife had to wake me, hopefully before the trees turned into Freddy Krueger and killed me in my sleep.
I have been going to a lot of job interviews lately, many of which are in New York City. I have lived and worked in New York a few years back and Iím very much looking forward to the possibility of landing a job in my most beloved city.
One thing you see a lot of in New York City are yellow taxis driven by cabbies with a complete disregard for your safety. Itís one of the charms of this great city and you quickly learn to tread carefully when approaching a cross walk.
In my dream, Iím waiting at a cross walk. A taxi is stopped in front of me. Moments later, a second taxi come up from behind the first and gives it an ever so gentle love tap on the rear bumper.
The first cabbie launches himself out of his taxi. He is short and pudgy with a ruddy face. In my mind, I imagined him being Russian. He begins yelling at the second cab driver, who at this point is out of his taxi as well. He is tall and slim and speaking with an accent that was vaguely eastern european. After some back and forth, the first cabbie begins ripping of his clothes, revealing underneath full Roman Centurion body armor. The second cabbie does the same. Heís wearing a brown robe and is carrying a long bow.
They begin to battle and a crowd of onlookers surround them. I start chanting, ďCENTURION, CENTURION, CENTURION!Ē and the crowd begins chanting as well, urging the two combatants on.
Finally, the second cabbie/archer summons a bolder from the heavens, crushing the Centurion. He returns back to his cab and drives off like nothing happens.
Actually I am! Thanks for asking!
Bizarre Factor: 10/10 † This by far was one of the more enjoyable dreams that Iíve had. Itís also correlates directly to gaming as Iíve been playing a lot of Ryse: Son of Rome†recently on the Xbox One. A mindless hack and slash taking place during Roman times. An underrated game as far as I m concerned and worth a rental or buying used.
Lucidity Factor: 10/10 There was no point in this dream in which I knew I was not dreaming. I felt like I was in control the entire time. I literally sat back and let the insanity run its course and I enjoyed every moment of it. I should have conjured up a popcorn vendor.
I have already mentioned that I have been interviewing a lot. Iíve gone pretty deep in the interview process with about five companies and I am chomping at the bit on getting an offer soon.
In this dream, Iím initially excited because Iím expecting a job offer from Intel, a company I have neither applied to or ever interviewed. Apparently, some time has passed and I decided to give the hiring manager a call to check on my status. He tells me that Iím a top candidate and they were about to make me an offer, but they had a last minute candidate and they decided to offer her the job instead. Iím told that even though sheís way less qualified than me, sheís a female and asian. This is important because they are trying to diversify their workforce and there were currently no asian females working in the department I applied to.
Dumbfounded, I asked why they would even bother telling me that. The least they couldíve done was told me that I was no longer being considered for the position. The person on the other end of the phone then said that the candidate did not accept the offer yet. Apparently she has concerns because she recently lost 65 pounds and is worried about working for a company that has so many free snacks and drinks around.
It was at this point that I lost my shit. I began spewing out filth that would make a sailor blush. I told them what they can do with the job and to never contact me again and hung up. It was at this point that I woke up.
Bizarre Factor: 5/10 The dream started of pretty tame, but quickly became absurd when we began discussing the formerly zoftig Asian girl.
Lucidity Factor: 7/10 I was not immediately aware that I was in a dream until the Intel HR representative went into his spiel about the the Asian girlís aversion to snacks as well as their corporate initiatives regarding diversity. No company HR flack would ever disclose this information.
Thatís when I began cursing up a storm. Realizing I was in a dream, I could totally let lose with no ramifications. In real life, I would have pussied out and thanked them for their candor and asked them to keep me in mind for any future positions. I would then punch a hole in the wall.
I had this dream just last night after I already starting writing this blog and just had to include it.
In this dream, I was a prisoner of war in some Russian gulag. Weíre marching in a frozen barren field, surrounded by guards.
In my boot, I had a concealed knife. Iím approached by a guard and he starts questioning me. †It was at this point that I decided this was my opportunity to get all Chuck Norris and kick some ass.
Right before I was about to make my move, my wife wakes me up to take the dog out. All attempts to go back asleep and continue the dream was for naught.
Bizarre Factor: 8/10 Very bizarre, but I have been playing a lot of Call of Duty: Ghosts, which would explain why I was a badass soldier in a POW camp. Also, I have been following a lot of news leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, which appears itís going to be a shit show of epic proportions. I CANíT WAIT!
The garbage, stray dogs, and crumbling infrastructure are quite charming actually.
Lucidity Factor: 10/10 I might as well have been playing Call of Duty: Ghosts, because there was no point where I did not realize this was all a dream. I felt like a badass and had no fear. A QTE could have started and I would not be the slighted bit surprised. QUICK PRESS A!
If I was in a real life gulag, I would be perpetually shitting my pants and would gladly eat bowls of cold borscht, like a good little prisoner.
Using science and maths, I can conclude, with out a shadow of a doubt that this gamerís dreams are impacted by videogames. Many of them are bizarre and 75% of the time I am completely lucid. Pretty neat.
Given my findings, I plan to pick up a copy of Dead or Alive Beach Volley Ball and taking a sick day as I plan to be in bed all day long.
DON'T JUDGE ME!
Go ahead and share some of your most batshit crazy dreams in the comments. Have you found your dreams impacted by the games you play? Remember, sharing is caring.
To read more on the subject check out the two links below: