Over at GameSpy, Mike Sharky Reporting,
And it's only Wednesday. On Monday, we heard from the a UK therapist that said two hours of gaming produced the same effect as snorting a line of cocaine. A Harvard economist wondered aloud on Tuesday if the nation should thank videogames for its dropping crime rate. Today, a Canadian psychologist suggests that playing videogames can protect gamers from nightmares.Uh....Playstation 3 of course.
As MSNBC reports, Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, studied lucid dreams for years before becoming curious about her young son's infatuation with videogames. After initial research, she began to find "several surprises, although suggestive associations rather than definitive proof."
Some of those suggestive associations include: lucid dreamers and gamers appear to have better spatial skills and are less prone to motion sickness. The two groups also demonstrate a higher level of concentration and focus.
Based on her initial findings, Gackenbach began more detailed studies and discovered gamers were more likely to experience lucid dreams than non-gamers. She was able to duplicate the results in a number of different studies and found that gamers were also better able to control their lucid dreams than non-gamers.
Curious what her research meant in regard to nightmares, Gackenbach conducted another study with 35 males and 63 females. More on the study from MSNBC:
[Gackenbach] used independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports. She found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something "fun" for a gamer.
"What happens with gamers is that something inexplicable happens," Gackenbach explained. "They don't run away, they turn and fight back. They're more aggressive than the norms."
According to MSNBC, Gackenbach hopes to continue her research and discover if videogames can help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. Combat veterans with PTSD [Combat PTSD] typically experience dramatically higher rates of nightmares, and Gackenbach thinks videogames might be able to help.