Emerging Implications of VR Video Game Play on Dreams

  • Braden Wagner MacEwan University
  • Neelinder Rai MacEwan University


Virtual reality (VR) technology may shape human consciousness. VR is computer-simulated environment that replicates the experience of being present in another location (presence), which depends on how well the VR technology creates immersion. Immersion is how well a virtual environment submerges the perceptual systems of the user in computer-generated stimuli. In dreams an individual enters a biologically created virtual reality, with a strong sense
of presence felt. Therefore, there is a transfer of certain characteristics from a game played with VR headset into one’s dream, which is known as the game transfer phenomena. The easiest way to capture these experiences is by wearing high-quality VR goggles. The game used for this study is Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

In this study, we are examining the dreams of those who experience VR, versus those who do not. An earlier study compared watching/playing video games on television versus playing a game wearing wide screen goggles. In related studies that looked at the relationship between the immersion created by VR headset and nighttime dreams, it was concluded that the level of presence felt increased with using VR headset which may have affected memories of dreams, but the results were equivocal. This follow up study will employ a fully immersive set of VR goggles to determine if there is an increase in felt presence in participant’s dreams. The hypothesis is that the dreams of those who use VR will have a deeper sense of control, be more vivid, and may be more lucid.

Discipline: Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jayne Gackenbach