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Video Games Can Prevent Nightmares?

Posted on Tuesday, February 22 @ 11:19:39 PST by

The thought of video games as a prevention tool for nightmares (not unlike the one pictured above) might sound unusual at first, but if you think about it, playing survival horror video games like Silent Hill or Dead Space could be helping us get better sleep. How?

Jayne Gackenbach (Grant Macewan University), who has a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and does research on cognition and consciousness during video game play, and her colleagues in an upcoming GDC talk called "Video Game Play as Nightmare Protection" will be sharing her hypothesis that "video game play might act as a protective mechanism against nightmares".

Since a nightmare is "a hallmark of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)", video games might provide relief as a "waking rehearsal of response to threatening situations in games" while allowing patients to "dream lucidly and have control over dream circumstances".

Not convinced yet? Well, neither am I. But I shall reserve judgment until after I attend her GDC panel next Monday. (Of course, my ninjutsu skills already prepare me to face the horrors of evil in my meta-consciousness, but a ninja can never be too prepared... for the things that happen in our office... *shudder*)

Tags:   GDC

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