Ponca City, We love you writes: "Live Science reports that researchers say that playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma. "If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice," says Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada who says that hard core gamers represent the leading edge of immersion in virtual worlds that increasingly has come to define a large part of contemporary entertainment and communication. "Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams." One intriguing theory holds that that dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation. To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a study using independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports and 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. They don't run away, they turn and fight back," says Gackenbach. "If you look at the actual overall amount of aggression, gamers have less aggression in dreams. But when they're aggressive, oh boy, they go off the top.""
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