Scary Games Don't Add Up To Nightmares

Scary Games Don't Add Up To Nightmares

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Interesting new research from Germany indicates that scary videogames and movies don't actually give kids nightmares.

Conducted by Michael Schredl, head of research at the Sleep Laboratory at Germany's Central Institute of Mental Health, the study presented 252 children aged nine to 13 years with a questionnaire about "media use and nightmares." According to the results, there was no correlation between the frequency of nightmares and differences in TV watching or videogaming habits. In fact, according to the report, television shows including popular police and crime shows appeared to have no impact on dreams whatsoever. Reading, on the other hand, did appear to be connected with dreams, although researchers said the number of children affected is too small to be conclusive.

"It might make sense that not only the pictures themselves are of importance, but what children fantasize during the day," Schredl said in a Calgary Herald report. "They might be more stimulated by reading than by watching TV."

46 percent of the study respondents said they hadn't had any nightmares over the past few months, while 38 percent reported them "occasionally" and 16 percent suffered them at least once a week. Girls also appeared significantly more likely to have nightmares than boys, although Schredl claimed that could be because they remember more of their dreams, a pattern he said had emerged previously in studies of young adults.

While nobody is suggesting the parents send their seven-year-olds on a late-night romp through the Shalebridge Cradle, parents can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that a little time spent playing videogames won't come back to haunt their kids at night. The abstract of the study can be read at the American Psychological Association website.

via: What They Play

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It's worrying what scientists seem to get up to when they think no-one's looking.

I'm an absolute coward who, when the going gets tough, whimpers, starts saving constantly, and preferably has the beefiest weapon I can carry and after a while it just doesn't phase me until the next time I play.

This interests me, because while I don't get nightmares more often when playing scary games and watching scary films there does seem to be a link to the subject matter.

That said, I don't get nightmares much. I don't get nightmares to the extent that I'm shocked when I do.

I would think that the "You'll get nightmares if you watch/play scary things" cliche is more of an expression than an actual fact.

HomeAliveIn45:
I would think that the "You'll get nightmares if you watch/play scary things" cliche is more of an expression than an actual fact.

When I first saw Nightmare on Elm Street, I had bad dreams for like two weeks. Of course, that could just be a huge coincidence and have nothing to do with that movie which terrified me so.

Well being afraid and having nightmares are two different things. Nightmares are about as random and trivial as most dreams. I don't think I've ever seen a scary movie and then had a nightmare about it.
Now that said, a good scary piece of entertainment stays in your mind for the next few days. If you watch The Village, every still forest should give you the chills. If you read The Zombie Survival Guide, you should be looking down quiet suburban streets at night and expecting a moan.
Forget nightmares; it's daydreams that scare the piss out of me :P

Huh, that's interesting.

Honestly, the reason why I never played too many horror survival games was because I thought it would be too scary and thus give me nightmares or something similar to it. It's still a possibility, but now that i'm getting old I might get into more horror survival games now.

teknoarcanist:
Well being afraid and having nightmares are two different things. Nightmares are about as random and trivial as most dreams. I don't think I've ever seen a scary movie and then had a nightmare about it.
Now that said, a good scary piece of entertainment stays in your mind for the next few days. If you watch The Village, every still forest should give you the chills. If you read The Zombie Survival Guide, you should be looking down quiet suburban streets at night and expecting a moan.
Forget nightmares; it's daydreams that scare the piss out of me :P

This is it exactly. When I was a kid, I never got nightmares after watching a scary movie, although I admit I had a few sleepless nights.

Also, I've read that guide, and now there's this part of me in the back of my mind that sizes up every building I walk into defendability during a zombie attack.

I'm the kind of guy that, when he walks into a cave in Oblivion and comes across a zombie charging at him, kills it and then presses the Back button every 5 or 6 seconds, using it to see if there are any more close by.

But nightmares? Nah.

LOL, The Village.

Are you local?

I don't get nightmares, I get spooked.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Are you local?

Because this is a local shop for local people!

I don't know about that, I saw the original scream when I was 8 years old and had nightmares for months about it, I even felt uneasy seeing trick or treaters wearing scream masks for a little while.

The Shalebridge Cradle scared the stuffing out of me at 28! Didn't give me nightmares but it had me looking over my shoulders at times.

I have a very vivid imagination, so Scary movies and tv make me very on edge for a day or so but I never have nightmares, every, just very obscure dreams (which reminds me, I still need to chase down that god-damned purple dragon)

Its not the nightmares(as infrequent as they are) that really scare me, its just my imagination before i go to sleep. Thats what really scares the shit out of me.

You know... What we need to do is just scare the piss out of children to give them nightmares. Like I don't know pay parents to give their kids a good spook every now and then.

really though I am glad that once again science has slapped down scared over protective parents.

That being said I don't think an eight year old needs to play SE5 and I don't think Love Craft should instantly become required reading in classrooms. (not just because its scary but have you actually tried to read victorian lit... BLEH)

You know what gave me nightmares as a child? Mr. Clean. I shit you not.

I also had some serious issues with Big Bird.

Obviously I was a little younger than nine when these things were happening, but it's pretty clear the mind has its own ideas about how to scare the bejeezus out of you while you're asleep.

Malygris:
I also had some serious issues with Big Bird.

It took me a while to realise you were talking about the Sesame Street character and not some WW2 Spitfire pilot. I was really confused.

Johnn Johnston:

Malygris:
I also had some serious issues with Big Bird.

It took me a while to realise you were talking about the Sesame Street character and not some WW2 Spitfire pilot. I was really confused.

The first thing i associated that name with is the helicopter in cod4 at the end of One Shot One Kill, which tends to make me more angry then scared.

I love scary things, heck I make up scary stories with friends during halloween.

Theres a difference between "Scary" and "Scaring" now when I watch something like Resident Evil or Dark Messiah of Might and Magic I'm not scared. Games where theres massive amounts of gore like Age of Conan, Gears of War, etc. that may be scarring to people.

I've seen things that are truly scary, I work with my local Paranormal Investigative group called CAPS (not to be confused TAPS) I've seen strange black masses and unexplained lights. I've heard EVPs that chill me to the bone, I've seen object hurled about. Nothing in any game remotely compares to that, sorry. Some people are more impressionable than other is my call. Good topic though.

Mr.Pandah:
Its not the nightmares(as infrequent as they are) that really scare me, its just my imagination before i go to sleep. Thats what really scares the shit out of me.

Same here. I saw the first ten minutes of the ring when I was 8, and even now, when I'm on my computer or playing games in the dark, I always just feel compelled to look over my shoulder, I can't go into dark rooms unless someones with me or I have my pocket knife with me, but I've never had any nightmares about it. I have nightmares about Saw instead, something I've never seen before, but a while back, on FOX, they were going to play it later, so instead of ads, they just took random Jigsaw TV shots from the movies and played them. THAT scared the piss out of me, instead of showing it during a normal commercial break, it was shown randomly during shows, with static and everything. It was creepy as shit.

I have never actually had a nightmare by doing something scary. I end up having nightmares at the weirdest times... like after I did well on a test, or before something I know good will come (like chrismas). So I sorta always knew that scary things don't mean scary dreams.

I never have nightmares from games, I might dream of zombies but I'm always blowing their head's off so it's not really scary.

I tend to stay away from horror since I get scared easy... real easy. Doesn't help though.

Programmed_For_Damage:
The Shalebridge Cradle scared the stuffing out of me at 28! Didn't give me nightmares but it had me looking over my shoulders at times.

I hear that! Only 20 however.

Anyay, scary games give me nightmares? Hells no. Still having creepy, "Being chased by the Dahaka" dreams? HELL YES!

I know Dragonball Z gave me some nightmares... but maybe that's just me.

 

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