Dreams and video game play games for health conference 2010
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  • As just seen in the bizarreness study, in several studies, with increasing methodological sophistication, Lucid/control dreams and gaming have been found to be associated. Here is an example – push audio button
  • As just seen in the bizarreness study, in several studies, with increasing methodological sophistication, Lucid/control dreams and gaming have been found to be associated. Here is an example – push audio button
  • So the question becomes, is the association between lucid dreaming and video game play self selected? Well yes and no. To be a serious player you need to not suffer motion sicknessAlmost all children through to young adults play some form these days and indeed I’ve spoken to gamers who are susceptible to motion sickness and they say they prefer games that do not bring it on.For serious game play spatial skills are an advantageSpatial skills improve with play if not to the extent of those with a gaming historyMost games of serious players cater to boysGirl games are being developed and is a large growing market and the largest gaming market now is the casual gaming market which is dominated by middle aged women!Those who are able to get absorbed should do betterAttention/absorption improve with play but again not to the extent of those with a long history of play
  • Video gaming is one of the fastest growing entertainment industries with revenues arguably the same as or greater than the movie industry depending on how you count.Therefore gaming is too wide spread to reduce to purely self selection.There is something enticing about being in virtual worlds and there is increasing social pressure to play.
  • In this factor analysis there are three types of variables: gaming, dream type, and dream bizarreness. Gaming is entered both as history of game play (sum of z-scores of frequency of play, length of play, number of games played and age begun playing) and as day before the dream game play. Dreamers were asked to identify if the dream was lucid, had a third person perspective (observer) and controlablity. Finally subscales from the Revonsuo and Salmivalli scale were entered. It can be seen that gaming was associated with and without lucidity-control but with lucidity-control you have bizarreness. Thus the notion of gaming as mythological re-enactment is supported at a deeply unconscious level.
  • In order to further delve into the lucidity/gamer relationship let’s now turn our attention to a content analysis of Lucid vsNonlucid Dreams of Gamers from 4 Previous Studies. We used the Hall & Van de Castle Content Analysis system. While not as many female as male dreams nor as many lucid as nonlucid dreams still there is enough to consider if there are differences WITHIN GAMERS between their lucid and their nonlucid dreams.
  • Using Schneider and Domhoff’s SAT spreadsheet, we found that lucid dreams for gamers were more aggressive than their nonlucid dreams. The settings were less familiar. There was less self negativity with more general success and dreamer involved success. Finally there was more sexual elements in these gamers dreams. In short, these are the differences one would expect with lucid-control dreaming, in which lucid dreams deliberately tend toward an overall much more positive dream atmosphere. Although there was no differences in dream types in dream emotions that reached significance. The one apparent exception is the higher physical aggression in lucid than in non-lucid dreams of gamers. However, given the otherwise positive dream experience, it is likely that the gamers themselves view their often consciously deliberate aggression in these lucid dreams positively, much as they do in gaming.

Dreams and video game play games for health conference 2010 Dreams and video game play games for health conference 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • Dreams and Video Game Play
    Jayne Gackenbach
    Grant MacEwan University &
    Athabasca University
    Games for Health 2010 Conference
    Boston, MA
    gackenbachj@macewan.ca
  • Why are dreams important?
    Rich history across most cultures
    Royal road to the unconscious – Freud
    While opened up dreams as important, he also pathologized them
    With discovery of REM sleep and the sleep laboratory, dreams entered science
    While not local only to REM, those that are most recalled and most often puzzled about are typically REM dreams
  • Why are dreams important?
    Function of dreams increasingly clear
    Evolutionary threat/play (Revonsuo; Humphrey)
    Emotional Regulation, especially negative emotions (Kramer; Nielsen; Zadra)
    Memory integration & consolidation (Stickgold)
    Problem-solving, creative inspiration (Barrett)
    Metacognition (LaBerge; Kahan; Kahn)
    All this serves personal and interpersonal needs if shared and processed but need not be
  • Why study gamers dreams?
    Media saturated society
    Video game play represents the most immersive and interactive media experience
    Isn’t it all just incorporation?
    Yes gamers dream about games
    And no,
    Example of value of studying gamers dreams...
    Gamers dreams show fundamental structural differences
  • Presence in Games and Dreams
    Dreams have been called the “gold standard” for presence (sense of being there) in VR and games (Revonsuo; Moller & Barbera)
    Never measured until now (Gackenbach & Rosie, 2010)
    Played Mirror’s Edge in lab before sleep
    Gathered dreams for next two weeks
    Presence measured after game and after dreams
  • Presence sum score NO DIFFERENCE
    Items (12) got 4 differences 8 NO DIFFERENCE:
    The dream/game caused real feelings and emotions for me. (Dream > Game)
    Overall how much did the things/people in the dream/game look like they would if you had experienced them in waking reality? (Dream > Game)
    How much did you feel like the events of the dream/game were happening to you? (Dream > Game)
    How often did you feel "My body was in bed, but my mind was inside my dream" or "My body was in this room, but my mind was inside the environment I saw/heard"? (Game > Dream)
    Presence in Games and Dreams
  • Gamer Defined
    Play video games on average several times a week
    Typical playing session more than 1 or 2 hours
    Played 50 or more video games over your lifetime
    Been playing video games since before grade three
    Type of Game Preferred only considered in latest studies, seemed to make no difference 5 years ago
  • Dream Dimensions Examined
    Lucid and Control Dreams
    Bizarreness and Creativity
    Nightmares and Threat Simulation
  • Lucid – Control Dreams
    Gackenbach, J.I. (2006). Video game play and lucid dreams: Implications for the development of consciousness. Dreaming, 16(2), 96-110.
    Gackenbach, J.I. & Kuruvilla, B. (2008). Video game play effects on dreams: Self-evaluation and content analysis. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture. 2(2), 169-186.
    Gackenbach, J.I. (2009). Video Game Play and Consciousness Development: A Replication and Extension. International Journal of Dream Research, 2(1), 3-11.
  • Lucid – Control Dreams & Gaming
    Subject #014: Lucidity triggered by an event
    Michael: Well, once Jean Grey (a marvel comic and video game character) got loose and started killing people, I was like this is really weird this is probably a dream and it was like right after that she showed up and I told myself that I need to wake up. I thought that something bad was supposed to happen and I didn’t want it to happen so I should wake up.
    Gackenbach, et al. (2009)
  • Control Dreaming
    3=
    sometimes
    2= rarely
  • Lucid Dreaming
    3=
    sometimes
    2= rarely
  • Gamer Sample Lucid/Control Dream
    Subject #014: Lucidity triggered by an event
    Well, once Jean Grey (a marvel comic and video game character) got loose and started killing people, I was like this is really weird this is probably a dream and it was like right after that she showed up and I told myself that I need to wake up. I thought that something bad was supposed to happen and I didn’t want it to happen so I should wake up.
    Gackenbach, 2006, 2009a, b; & Kurvilla, 2008;
    Gackenbach, et al. (2009).
  • Methodological Refinement
    Gackenbach, J.I. (2009) Electronic media and lucid-control dreams: Morning after reports. Dreaming, 19(1), 1-6.
  • Methodological Refinement
    Previous studies long term retrospective memory
    Collected Dream report and when
    Normal sleep length and rested amount
    Questions on media use history and media used the day before dream
    Questions reflecting about dream reported
    Dreams (N=152) for analysis were chosen if:
    Last night
    Rested (had typical amount of sleep)
  • Principal Component Factor Analysis on Dream, Gamer and Media Use
    Last night, rested dreams, N = 152
    Dreams Self Labeled
    Day Before Media Use
  • Parallels video gaming/lucidity
    Video game Play
    video games technologically constructed alternative realities
    Video gaming has been associated with improved spatial skills
    Low motion sickness needed to play a lot
    High absorption is reported by players
    Lucid/control dreams
    Dream worldsbiologically constructed alternative realities
    Lucid dreamers show better spatial skills
    Lucid dreamers have better vestibular systems (not susceptible to motion sickness)
    Meditation is highly associated with lucidity and is training in developing one pointed absorption
  • Is the Lucidity – Video Game Play Association Self Selection?
    Yes
    To be a serious player you need to not suffer motion sickness
    For serious game play spatial skills are an advantage
    Most games of serious players cater to boys
    Those who are able to get absorbed should do better
    No
    Almost all children through to young adults play some form these days
    Spatial skills improve with play
    Girl games are being developed and is a large growing market
    Attention/absorption improve with play
  • Bottom Line
    Gaming is too wide spread to reduce to purely self selection
    There is increasing social pressure to play
    Gaming is only one part of our networked life
    Percent growth in US 2006-2007
  • Original Dream Content Analysis
    • Hall &Van de Castle Coding System
    • Frequency equals intensity
    • High inter-rater reliability
    • Well developed norms
    • Uses categories which are pertinent to waking concerns that may influence dreaming.
    • Those that lead to further research were:
    • characters, aggression and misfortune.
    • Gackenbach, J.I., Matty, I., Kuruvilla, B., Samaha, A. N., Zederayko, A., Olischefski, J. & Von Stackelberg, H. (2009). Video game play: Waking and dreaming consciousness. S. Krippner (Ed.), Perchance To Dream, Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, p. 239-253.
    27 gamers
    56 dreams
    male norms
  • Significant Differences from Male Norms
    More dead or imaginary characters appearing in dream reports (21% vs 0%).
    Why be human in a game? They have fewer powers than other types of creatures.
  • Dead or Imaginary Characters
    Subject 001- Dream 11
    “I dreamt I was a character is Underworld 2, it was a werewolf character and then I became a 3rd person. It was the two main characters, it was the vampire girl and a hybrid werewolf character and I was another werewolf character beside them and we went into a vampire coven and we got to the weapons section of the vampire coven and then I woke up”
    • Later looked at bizarreness due to this finding
  • Dream Aggression
    Smaller number of dreams with aggression (32% vs 47%)
    Yetmore intense aggression (namely physical aggression, 86% vs 50%) when it happened
  • Dream Aggression Example
    Subject 002- Dream 6
    “… I went outside … with my cat and shot these criminals that were trying to eat my dad and they were on top of my dad trying to eat his arms and he was fighting them off, and they were trying to hold him down and bite his shoulders and there was blood and stuff. And it was a very graphic shootout for a dream; it was very blood and guts ya know? And when I ran out of ammunition there was like pistol whipping and stuff going on and that one sticks out in my mind because it was very graphic…”.
  • Dream Misfortunes
    Fewer Misfortunes
    (7% vs 36%)
    Fewer Bodily Misfortunes
    (0% vs 29%)
    Aggression and misfortune findings lead to threat simulation and nightmare questions
    Thus less victim /more control
  • Dream Bizarreness
    Gackenbach, J. I., Kuruvilla, B., & Dopko, R. (2009). Video game play and dream bizarreness. Dreaming, 19(4), 218-231.
    Gackenbach, J.I. & Dopko, R. (in submission). The Relationship between Video Game Play, Dream Bizarreness, and Creativity. Consciousness and Cognition.
  • Domhoff – 2007 meta-analysis
    dreams are more coherent, patterned and thoughtful than previously suggested
    still some bizarreness in adult dreams
    far less than what was expected based
    Illusion of Dream Bizarreness
  • Methods
    Study 1: Recent Dreams
    Self reported dream questions
    Various media use information
    Study 2: Two Week Online Dream Diary
    Features that were bizarre for subject
    Various media use information
    Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT)
    Verbal and the figural tests
    Revonsuo & Salmivalli Content Analysis
  • Unusual (subject)
    Bizarre (judges)
    Non-bizarre (judges)
    Low Game Group
    High Game Group
    Covariates: sex, # words in dream, # hours of video game play day before dreamDreams were 279 from low end gamers and 162 from high end gamers
  • Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
    No gamer group difference for verbal test
    Significant differences for figural test favoring high gamer group
  • Gaming, Bizarreness & Creativity
  • Factor Analysis on Game Play, Lucid Related Dream & Bizarreness Variables
    Gaming loads with and without lucidity-control but with lucidity-control you have bizarreness
    Gackenbach, J.I. & Hunt, H. (2010, April). Video Game Play and Lucid Dreaming as Socially Constructed Meditative Absorption. Paper to be presented at the biannual meeting entitled "Toward a Science of Consciousness" sponsored by the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • Nightmares & Threat Simulation
    Gackenbach, J.I. & Kuruvilla, B. (2008). The relationship between video game play and threat simulation dreams. Dreaming, 18(4), 236-256.
  • Threat Simulation Theory
    dreaming is an adaptive process with an evolutionary foundation (Revonsuo, 2000).
    dreaming allows us to simulate threatening situations in the safety of a virtual environment of dreams.
    continued practice would allow an individual to better prepare for these possibly dangerous instances, were they to arise in the waking world
  • Dreams Collected
    Online Questionnaires
    night before dreams only,
    average hours since dream to recollection being under one hour
    minimum word count of 40 words
    98 participants/dreams
    35 males
    63 females
  • Principle Component Factor Analysis of Media, Threat Simulation Intensity, and Dream Self Evaluation Variables
    Gaming
    Day BeforeMedia Use
    Threat Simulation
    Self Report on Dream
  • Nightmares versus Bad Dreams
    Le, H. & Gackenbach, J. (2009). Nightmares of Video Game Players: What do They Look Like? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Chicago, ILL.
  • Method
    Participants
    231 low- and 222 high end gamers
    Instruments
    Media usage questionnaire
    Impactful dreams questionnaire (Lucid, Nightmares, Mystical, and Bad dreams)
    Content Analysis
    Hall and Van de Castle’s method for content analysis (HVDC)
  • HVDC Aggression Sum Score
    Nightmares
    Bad Dreams
    Low Game Group
    High Game Group
  • HVDC Misfortune Sum Score
    Bad Dreams
    Nightmares
    Low Game Group
    High Game Group
  • Judge Rated Emotionality (HVDC)
    Consistent findings with previous research
    Nightmares had more negative emotions than bad dreams
    No interaction with gaming group
  • Self-Rated Emotionality Scale of Dream
    No gamer group difference or dream type difference
    Self rated emotions: anger, awe, sexual arousal, anxiety, fear, guilt, frustration, sadness, hatred, happiness, jealousy, and embarrassment
    Negative emotions (anxiety, frustration, and fear) were found to be higher in bad dreams for high-end gamers
    While positive emotions (sexual arousal and happiness) were found to be greater in nightmares for high end gamers!!!
  • Self Reported Emotions: Sample Subscales
    Nightmares
    Bad Dreams
    Bad Dreams
    Nightmares
    Low Game Group
    High Game Group
    Low Game Group
    High Game Group
    Anxiety
    Happiness
  • Hall & Van de Castle Content Analysis of Lucid vsNonlucid Dreams of Gamers from 4 Previous Studies
    Gackenbach, J.I. & Hunt, H. (2010, April). Video Game Play and Lucid Dreaming as Socially Constructed Meditative Absorption. Paper to be presented at the biannual meeting entitled "Toward a Science of Consciousness" sponsored by the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • Lucidity Dream Type Differences among Gamers
  • Participant - Observer Gamer Opinion of how video games enter into dreams
    Lucidity, bizarreness, yes.
    Aggression, sometimes.
    nightmares very rare
    3rd person
    “I’ve just noticed that sometimes I’m just there as a hovering spirit watching things go on and I don’t really have a role … I don’t even pop up in my dreams, it’s just like I’m watching a movie … I feel emotion definitely regardless of whether or not I’m the person involved” – s16
  • Conclusions & Implications
    Lucidity/control
    Do these preliminary results imply that lucid/control dreaming will become widespread given the saturation of media?
    Bizarreness
    Are gamers semantic networks more diverse?
    Aggression/Threat Simulation
    Does gaming protect the person against nightmares?
  • For more information....
    Email for slides and/or papers:
    gackenbachj@macewan.ca
    Some of presentation summarized in this book chapter
    Gackenbach, J.I., Kuruvilla, B., Dopko, R. & Le, H. (2010). Chapter 5: Dreams and video game play. In F. Columbus (Ed.), Computer Games: Learning Objectives, Cognitive Performance and Effects on Development, Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.