If you’re not in the least interested in the improving of the self, you might not know what a lucid dream is. A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming and can alter the flow of the whole dream scenario. If you have at least once, during a nightmare, become conscious of the fact that you are indeed just dreaming and could wake up from the torment, you might very well be on the path of becoming a very effective lucid dreamer. Conscious or lucid dreaming is said to be very beneficial to self-confidence, creativity and skill building, because you have a whole sandbox universe inside your head where you can experiment with anything that you can think of. Slavador Dali is probably the best example of what the creative mind can bring after sessions of lucid dreaming, but William Blake or composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner are also rumored to have explored the world of dreams in detail.
The technique of inducing lucid dreaming is still something of a mystery. While in the olden days Opium was believed to be the perfect vehicle for such tasks, nowadays, through meditation and willpower, it is believed that anyone can reach conscious dreaming.
… Statistically, gamers have less nightmares, because they can easily reverse the threats in their dreams and become the threatening presence to the entities they encounter while sleeping. The moment they understand they are dreaming, they’re turning the whole universe into a self-imagined level in which goals and probably even achievement become obvious.
[According to] Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada … “If you’re spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it’s practice,” said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.”
… The first study suggested that people who frequently played video games were more likely to report lucid dreams, observer dreams where they viewed themselves from outside their bodies, and dream control that allowed people to actively influence or change their dream worlds – qualities suggestive of watching or controlling the action of a video-game character.
A second study tried to narrow down the uncertainties by examining dreams that participants experienced from the night before, and focused more on gamers. It found that lucid dreams were common, but that the gamers never had dream control over anything beyond their dream selves.
The gamers also frequently flipped between a first person view from within the body and a third person view of themselves from outside, except never with the calm detachment of a distant witness. …
With regard to nightmares…
Gackenbach conducted a 2008 study with 35 males and 63 females, and 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.”
Levels of aggression in gamer dreams also included hyper-violence not unlike that of an R-rated movie, as opposed to a non-gamer PG-13 dream.
“If you look at the actual overall amount of aggression, gamers have less aggression in dreams,” Gackenbach said. “But when they’re aggressive, oh boy, they go off the top.” ….
I’m definitely not a video game player, but I’d also say that I don’t have nightmares. Once every 6 months or so I’ll have some horror type things happen in my dreams (car accidents, burned bodies, etc.), but I never actually feel fear in my dreams… I guess because I know it is just a dream.