That the active brain creates phasic REM idea nicely supports our research on gaming and lucid dreaming. Gaming, which is very active mentally, before sleep might then create a more active brain in sleep. This is very broad and vague, I know but that’s the beauty of a blog I can say such vague things and basically think… I would add bizarre dreams of meditators and creativity in meditators we have also found with gamers – Now does that make lucid dreams any less potentially spiritual or enlightening (in the sense of waking up), NO – I think a case can be made that some forms of gaming can be viewed as a type of meditative practice (especially the aborbed attention and the flow experiences of gamers) and indeed there is now a set of fascinating work looking at the stress reduction of casual game play on various measures – additionally the most recent issue of The Review of General Psychology is devoted to the positive outcomes associated with video game play with two articles heavily critiquing the quick to assume violence affects – they happen but are specific to some individuals – I understand that people are quick to reject the idea that games might be good for you (of course there are problems with excessive play) no less the idea that it could be a fairly simple meditative type practice but I think a case is increasingly being made.
I think what is important here is that lucid dreamers, meditators and video game players, among other activities, which for instance could include shamanic journeying, learn to move in “imaginal spaces” or virtual realities – the advantage of gaming here is obvious, and pointed out by Joan Preston, a VR researcher, that VR allows experiences of high absorption not normally available to individuals who do not have this skill.
An often argued point in the dream studies literature argues that ” many lucid dreamers attempt to avoid a dream’s message by attempting to control the dream . Instead of facing the issue presented in the dream, the lucid dreamer runs off on an adventure, such as flying into the sky, dominating other dream characters, or having sex with a dream companion.” I have long agreed with this perspective BUT my work with gamers and dream control has shown me a different blush on it – they have rehearsed so much during the day during game play how to fight an enemy that when confronted with threat in sleep they automatically fight back – now is that psychologically healthy is another question, it is very similar to the various dream rehearsal techniques to deal with nightmares from trauma – it’s a difficult and tricky question.