Presentation on theme: "Dreams and Video Game Play Jayne Gackenbach Athabasca University 2010 Canadian Game Studies Association Montreal, Quebec Slides."— Presentation transcript:
Dreams and Video Game Play Jayne Gackenbach Athabasca University 2010 Canadian Game Studies Association Montreal, Quebec Slides available on
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
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... Why study 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 before sleep in lab – 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 Play video games on average several times a week Typical playing session more than 1 or 2 hours Typical playing session more than 1 or 2 hours Played 50 or more video games over your lifetime Played 50 or more video games over your lifetime Been playing video games since before grade three 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), 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), 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 2= rarely 3= sometimes
Lucid Dreaming 2= rarely 3= sometimes
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)
Factor 1 Clarity of dream Lucidity.391 Type of Observer (hi=3 rd per).121 Control.527 Nightmare.185 Electronic media.025 mean of audio only media (phone, radio, CD/mp3).436 mean of audio and video media (TV/DVD, movie).413 mean of interactive media (computer/internet, vid gm).718 gamer groups (0 = non-gamer, 1 = low, 2 = mod, 3 = high).653 Last night, rested dreams, N = 152 Principal Component Factor Analysis on Dream, Gamer and Media Use Dreams Self Labeled Day Before Media Use
Parallels video gaming/lucidity Video game Play 1.video games technologically constructed alternative realities 2.Video gaming has been associated with improved spatial skills 3.Low motion sickness needed to play a lot 4.High absorption is reported by players Lucid/control dreams 1.Dream worlds biologically constructed alternative realities 2.Lucid dreamers show better spatial skills 3.Lucid dreamers have better vestibular systems (not susceptible to motion sickness) 4.Meditation is highly associated with lucidity and is training in developing one pointed absorption Self selection? Yes and No
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
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 gamers 56 dreams male norms 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%) Yet more 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%) Thus less victim /more control Aggression and misfortune findings lead to threat simulation and nightmare questions
Dream Bizarreness Gackenbach, J. I., Kuruvilla, B., & Dopko, R. (2009). Video game play and dream bizarreness. Dreaming, 19(4), 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
Covariates: sex, # words in dream, # hours of video game play day before dream Dreams were 279 from low end gamers and 162 from high end gamers Unusual (subject) Bizarre (judges) Non-bizarre (judges) Low Game GroupHigh Game Group
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking No gamer group difference for verbal test Significant differences for figural test favoring high gamer group
12345 Game history sum of z-scores Mean # hours played video game pre-dreams Sex of subject (1=M; 2=F) Average number of words in dreams Number of dream reported in diary Dream recall sum of z-scores Discontinuous bizarreness mean Vague bizarreness mean Incongrous overall bizarreness mean Non-bizarreness mean Average of sums of dream unusual elements Verbal creativity sum Figural creativity sum Gaming, Bizarreness & Creativity
Factor Analysis on Game Play, Lucid Related Dream & Bizarreness Variables Video game history (freq, length, # games, age begin) Video Games played day before dream Recent Dream - Lucidity Recent Dream - Type of Observer (Hi=observer) Recent Dream - Control nonbizarreness mean vagueness variables mean discontinuous mean Incongruous distorted sum Incongruous exotic sum Incongruous impossible sum 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),
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
12 Sex of subject: Male=1; female= Z-score for gamer type Mean objective rating of video game Percent of maximum length of play score Type of game sum favorite + current Mean for TV violence rating Mean movie violence rating Threat simulation present=2, absent= Nature of threat recoded no harm to aggressive Sum of the number of threats from target threat Severity of threat recoded, none to life threat Dream recall Lucidity in dream Observer point of view in dream Control in dream Was dream a nightmare Dream scariness Dream violence Day Before Media Use Threat Simulation Self Report on Dream Gaming Principle Component Factor Analysis of Media, Threat Simulation Intensity, and Dream Self Evaluation Variables
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 GroupHigh Game Group
HVDC Misfortune Sum Score Bad Dreams Nightmares Low Game GroupHigh 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 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!!! No gamer group difference or dream type difference
Hall & Van de Castle Content Analysis of Lucid vs Nonlucid Dreams of Gamers from 4 Previous Studies GenderDreamRow totals maleLucid53 malenonlucid219 femaleLucid27 femalenonlucid131 total430 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 Significant difference variables All gamers Nonlucids All gamers Lucids Social Interaction Percents Aggressor Percent 26%44% Settings Familiar Setting Percent 50%35% Self-Concept Percents Self-Negativity Percent 85%65% Dreamer-Involved Success Percent 38%77% Dreams with at Least One: Sexuality 03%10% Success 07%14%
Participant - Observer Gamer Opinion of how video games enter into dreams Lucidity, bizarreness, yes. Aggression, sometimes. nightmares very rare 3 rd 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” – s16s16
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.... for slides and/or papers: – or 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.