The Wall Street Journal has released another gaming study, however unlike the usual studies this one captured my interest. The study investigated whether video games inoculate soldiers against nightmares. It compared the dreams of 64 heavy gamers with that of 22 people who played games less frequently. Every member of the study are current or former members of the Canadian or American militaries.
All of the subjects were high-functioning and did not suffer from post-traumatic stress. They also had similar combat experience. Each test participant had to recount their latest dream along with a dream they had about military life, that had a strong effect on them. Researchers then coded the dreams' content.
The test revealed that:
" The military dreams of the low-frequency gamers were much more threatening than those of the high-frequency gamers. Low-frequency gamers also reported being passive victims in their military dreams, while the high-frequency gamers were active participants. That games numb players to violence, often sided as a negative quality, may be beneficial for soldiers, the researchers said. The habit of fighting back, and winning, in video games, may carry over into the virtual world that arrives at 2 a.m.
Of course, much more work on this topic needs to be done, but these are suggestive early findings, the researchers said.">Wall Street Journal
Written by Lewis Terry (also created the image used)