Weekend Question: Have you ever played a game so much it changes your dreams?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week the question is: Have you ever played a game so much it changes your dreams?

Too much Tetris will have you looking at the furniture like blocks that need to be lined up, and don't tell the cops but too much GTA can make you think some bad thoughts about cars. Has a game ever penetrated far enough into your brain that you dreamed about it?
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Last spring, I had a dream where I was driving along, when I decided had to get off the chopper (there was suddenly a chopper) to get something unspecific done on the ground. So I roped down XCOM-style with my team (I suddenly had a team). We barely got our feet on the ground before somebody had the package we were looking for (the "thing I had to do" was suddenly some fool FedEx quest!?) and he was grabbing a rope to get hauled back up to the chopper. I was trying to work out whether or not he was actually on the team or if this was some sneaky, alien trick when my alarm went off and I woke up.

I was playing a lot of XCOM at the time.
There was a thread on this last year, in case you don't get too many replies:



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Yes, but never in a good way. Most recently I've been grinding Mini Motorways to try to get all the achievements and I had one night where I kept hearing the sounds of more houses and more destinations popping up, just outpacing my ability to keep up.

I don't see games in my dreams, they manifest my nightmares.
I have a hard time remembering details of any of my dreams, those details just seem to fade so quickly once I wake up. I've tried, in the past, keeping a bedside journal to write down the details as soon as I was awake, writing without turning on a light, but the words were mostly illegible. Then I tried a tape recorder, but on playback, it sounded like some alien language.

Mostly what happens is just hearing a certain soundtrack or song from a game as I wake up. It just plays from my subconscious into my conscious mind. That happens often enough that it's not a rare occurrence for me.

But about 3 weeks ago, back when I was puling late nights trying to finish up Baldur's Gate 2 EE, I had a dream about fighting a mob of enemies (can't remember what they were, maybe Kobolds) with several others. I wish I could remember the details, but they're gone from memory. I did wake up sweating and thrashing a bit. Must have been my sword arm. Probably a good thing I don't sleep with a weapon under my pillow.
I've had some dreams related to games, RE8 being the most recent. But even everyday events can sometimes cause me to have a game-related thought. For instance, I was supposed to go into a middle school one night to clear out a room (long story), and when I flipped the light switch on nothing happened. My first thought was that I needed to find a fuse and the fuse box, because that's what you do in every dang game. My second thought was to light the room with my phone flashlight. It was an immersive sim kind of night.


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It happens that I dream about video games, but it's rarely something more than me playing them. One of the exceptions from the distant past that I still remember is a dream about Operation Flashpoint (or ARMA: Cold War Assault as it's called now). The dream wasn't limited to playing it. I was an actual participant of the events: a soldier sent on the front. The weirdest thing was that the environment looked similar to the in-game graphics (you know what I mean: low polygon models, angular trees, lack of 3D grass and so on), so I was literally put inside a computer game. It was a really surreal experience...
Sep 6, 2021
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I recall about 15-16 years ago, dreaming of Counter Strike pretty much every night. No surprise,i played the game for hours every night. Now i am in my 30s, and dreaming of Cyberpunk. I have dumped 50 hours into the game over the last 2 weeks. It only makes sense. I just hope the next game i buy leaves me dreaming too. If not, it wasnt worth the $$$, right?
I tend to dream about whatever I did that day, albeit in some bizarre, dreamlike form that often makes no sense, but yeah, in the case of dreams, the more I play a game and the closer to bed I play it, the more likely it is to affect my dreams. I think I'd said this before on a similar post, but waaaay back in the day I'd even have dreams in text adventure form, which was especially weird because I was told that you can't read in dreams, but if I wasn't reading, then I'm not sure how I knew what was going on with just text or what I was typing. (I know you can't read books in your head since we don't have the Matrix download option, yet.)

I've also noticed that first-person POV games lead to more vivid (sometimes even lucid) dreams about said game. I haven't had a ton of dreams looking at myself (or a character) in third-person. Though it's happened.