The relationship between video game play, dream bizarreness, and creativity

  • Jayne Isabel Gackenbach (Author)
    Grant MacEwan University
    Professor, Department of Psychology, Grant MacEwan University
  • Raelyne Dopko (Author)
    currently a graduate student at Carleton University, but did research while an undergraduate at Grant MacEwan University
    currently a graduate student at Carleton University

Identifiers (Article)


Past research has shown that high-end video game play is associated with bizarre dreams (Gackenbach, Kuruvilla, & Dopko, 2009a). The purpose of this study was to determine if the higher bizarreness in gamers’ dreams could be replicated and if so, to inquire if it is due to the unusual worlds they are exposed to during video game play, or to higher creativity. Through a questionnaire, a two-week dream diary and face-to-face administration of two creativity tests, this study partially replicated the bizarreness advantage associated with gaming previously found. This time number of hours playing a video game the night before was controlled. It was also found that video game play history is related to figural creativity. The positive bizarreness, gaming, creativity association was partially confirmed for males while video game play was associated negatively with bizarreness for women with no creativity link. In separate and joint factor analyses of the major variable clusters (i.e., media use including gaming, bizarreness, and creativity) it was clear that any associations were to gaming and not to other media use the day before the dream.


Contributor or sponsoring agency
grants from the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) in conjunction with the Dream Science Foundation (DSF) and from the Department of Psychology at Grant MacEwan University
video game, dream, dream bizarreness, creativity, Torrance Tests of Creativity, electronic media, dream content analysis
How to Cite
Gackenbach, J. I., & Dopko, R. (2012). The relationship between video game play, dream bizarreness, and creativity. International Journal of Dream Research, 5(1), 23–36.