Study: Video Games May Help Soldiers Fight Combat Related Nightmares

March 11, 2011 -

The results of a new survey reveal that video games help keep nightmares away. According to an online survey of 98 military personnel, regularly playing games that involve war and combat like Call of Duty help to decrease the level of "harm and aggression" dreamers feel when they are dreaming about war. Of those surveyed, soldiers who did not play games reported having more violent dreams combined with feelings of helplessness. The survey was conducted by Jayne Gackenbach of Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada. She presented some of her findings at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month.

To make sure her study profiled healthy and mentally stable soldiers, Gackenbach weeded out any soldiers with pre-diagnosed mental disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Soldiers were divided into two gaming groups: high gaming and low gaming - based on how often they played video games. The high gaming group played every day or several times a week and played more immersive games like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Red Dead Redemption. The low gaming group played video games as little as a few times a year and played more casual games.

Those in the high gaming group reported that their nightmares about combat were less intense and many in the group reported that they often felt able to fight back against whatever forces were threatening them in their dreams. Low gamers reported more incidents of feeling helpless against an aggressive, violent enemy. Gackenbach's theory based on this preliminary data is that playing violent games may serve as a sort of "threat simulator," a way of conditioning the mind to cope with intense and dangerous situations in nightmares.

In a presentation at the Game Developers Conference last week in San Francisco, Gackenbach used one soldier, who wrote to her, as an example. Here is what he said:

"I would see many soldiers, in combat, with PSPs or anything we could hook up to 220v electricity. When soldiers weren't on patrol, we often had violent war games on our systems. It was weird. Like we didn't get enough violence."

She added at the time that this might seem like an example of a game addiction but there was something more profound going on:

"But this counterintuitive scene might be more than just a manifestation of young men and women addicted to video games bringing their favorite diversions to war with them. It may be a form of self-medication. They're taking (Playstation 3's, XBox 360's and other consoles) into the field and playing them all the time," she told New Scientist. "And it turns out, there may be a good reason to let them do that."

Source: New Scientist


Comments

Re: Study: Video Games May Help Soldiers Fight Combat ...

It can help with stress, PTSD(which I suffer a bit from, phone calls don't bug me much anymore but knocks on the door send a chill down my spine...if I had one) .  It and genreal fiuction is a good way to relax for some/most people. But activtly working to find your issues and deal with them is also good.


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WonderkarpAndrew Yoon Died http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/rip-andrew-yoon-3096901/31/2015 - 10:26pm
Matthew Wilson@ea so much happened this week its not funny. fcc broadband, Nintendo, sega, and sevral other big stories. was not a slow week lol01/31/2015 - 8:50pm
Andrew EisenWasn't on the list but we can certainly talk about it.01/31/2015 - 8:45pm
Matthew WilsonI know its not directly related to games, but are you going to tak about the fcc raising the definition of broadband to 25/3?01/31/2015 - 8:33pm
Wonderkarpwell we had to christen it some way01/31/2015 - 7:13pm
Andrew EisenThank goodness the Shout box now goes back 100 shouts, eh folks?01/31/2015 - 7:10pm
Wonderkarpyouve said youre stuff. I gave you a point on one thing.01/31/2015 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenNo, they're facts. Not beliefs. Not opinions. Facts. Do I need to list them all for you again? I'm happy to oblige.01/31/2015 - 7:02pm
Andrew EisenAnd I have seen no evidence (and would find it very hard to believe) that her fans and funders, even the most radical, would be the ones perpetuating that nonsense.01/31/2015 - 7:01pm
Wonderkarpabout as right as Glenn Beck is about the gays, man. Its all your beliefs and opinions.01/31/2015 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenI didn't say you did. And this talking head is still right about everything he's said so far.01/31/2015 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenAlso, considering the number of non profits that merchandise, I'm going to guess you're wrong on that one too but I don't really know as it's not my area of expertise.01/31/2015 - 6:58pm
WonderkarpYou can keep saying that all you want. Its just a talking head, man. there's all the proof in the pudding. I never said she was trying to take away games, or get rid of male protagonists, or any of the BS thats perpetraited by her more radicalfans/funders01/31/2015 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenNo, as I've spelled out throughout this discussion, you're wrong.01/31/2015 - 6:53pm
Wonderkarpok. that one I am wrong. I'll give you that one. That was one I didnt research properly. BUT I'm right on the others.01/31/2015 - 6:53pm
Andrew EisenFact: It makes no difference whether she recorded the footage or not. Fact: yes she does have a Section 107 'fair use' disclaimer at the end of every video and in the video description.01/31/2015 - 6:47pm
Wonderkarpsaying otherwise. I've presented a video with cited sources combined with opinion. Youre presenting just your opinion. 01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Wonderkarpits still important information brought up on the original video. and by not saying anything, the casual observer thinks its her footage. there's no "section 107 Fair use" disclaimer. Its as if she's showing star wars and saying "look what I made" without01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Andrew EisenIf that's true, maybe she's willing to lose her tax exempt status by merchandising. So? Also not a problem with her Kickstarter. And no, I don't have to be a rep of FemFreq to point out how nonsensical, irrelevant and untrue all this nonsense is.01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Andrew EisenShe doesn't say it's not her footage and she never said she'd record all her own footage. So this isn't a problem. I doubt she's said anything like "no women or non white people are critics of mine." Regardless, nothing to do with her Kickstarter.01/31/2015 - 6:41pm
 

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