Continuous Games People Play -or- The Epic Dream Game Is Afoot

Silvia, 18

My dream was of a chase scene, that sometimes felt deadly and sometimes felt like a game.

"I start in an office building with numerous floors, and hidden staircases. I don't recall the instructions for whatever I was participating in, but a woman's voice rang in my head saying 'Start very obvious, then disappear.'

I found that I had mud on my shoes, and tracked it up a white staircase, then threw my shoes in a wastebasket on the 11th floor, then hauled myself up on the balcony to await my pursuers. When they entered the 11th floor door, I dropped down then went to the 10th floor to find a private elevator which I then took to the 81st top floor. I ended up taking a nap in the hallway when I was awoken by two competitors of mine. I knew both of them, as two friends that are in a relationship.

They said they found me because some sort of 'bird' made it obvious where I was. We proceeded to continue together down on an escalator. We came and stopped at a Yogo berry (frozen yogurt) shop, where I almost got caught by one of my pursuers. However, I didn't because I had on a trench coat, hat, and sunglasses. After that though, I stripped off my wig (which I didn't realize I was wearing) and proceeded to run down the hall of the now apparent mall space. I ended up hiding in a hippie styled tea place, with "neon everything." There was no resolution to the chase or game, the dream just ended.

The Game of Life -or- The Historical Drama of the Deadly Dream Game

One of the first popular psychology books I read as a student was Eric Berne's "Games People Play" . Berne provided a game theoretical model of social relationships and the "mind games"   people learn to play. One of the most stereotypical everyday games is the one that involves "workplace politics".

The dream above can be viewed from such a everyday game theoretical and "game culture" point of view. The dream has the feel of "video gaming"  The "video gaming controversy" and the negative social effects of media influence on behaviour needs to be studied from a dream research perspective. Jayne Gackenbach (ed) "Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Transpersonal Implications", has reported her dream research findings. Gackenback has undertaken research studies of "gamers" and reported some of her findings at past annual International Association for the Study of Dreams conferences.

From a popular board game the dream resembles "The Game of Life". The dream also has the media feel of the TV franchise "The Apprentice" where the object of the game is to climb the corporate ladder, or in the case of the dream above find a "private elevator" that takes you to the top floor. The fact that the game felt deadly, means nothing more than you could get "fired". Said another way these games of corporate intrigue can be emotionally "deadly" and by nature turn "tragic". The Hollywood dream factory has produced many such films, one of which is "Disclosure" starring Demi Moore (as Meredith Johnson) and Michael Douglas (as Tom Sauders) who is at risk of tragically loosing it all, ruining his career, and his family life.

An observation that I already made when I was an adolescent, which the dream above only reinforces, is that every new generation seems to irrationally think that they are the first ones on the dramatic scene of the playing field. As an adolescent, I enjoyed "history" classes which showed me that the transgenerational dramatic playing field has always been the "only game in town". As a new generation of players comes onto the playing field, they for the most part play the same old archetypal game. In the dream above the "hippie" generation is referenced and their appearance is evidently being lampooned (parody) for their "neon everything". As if her appearance and disguise of; "trench coat, hat, and sunglasses" and "wig" are any better.

That the game has been historically deadly is reinforced by the IIDR dream interpretations "Bin Laden's Dreams" which references an article by Kelly Bulkeley "Bin Laden's Dreams, And Ours" and "War and Peace in the Global Village: Part 2". Bulkeley's article relates a dream Bin Laden and his cohorts discuss about a "soccer game" of Muslim Jihad pilots versus American pilots, the game in the dream is won by the Muslim team. The "War and Peace" article discusses the MAD dream game of "mutual assured destruction" for those living in the global village.

When epochal perceptual paradigmatic changes in the marketplace of gaming ideas is made, the dream game culture changes in turn. The ending of the dream above is; "There was no resolution to the chase or game, the dream just ended." What this means, is that the ancient Greeks perceived the dramatic movement of human history accurately, in that we then move onto the next agonistic game in the epic poetry or dramatic transpersonal history of continuous dream gaming. Or as Sherlock Holmes who echoes Shakespeare would say; "The games afoot". In this sense, the "game of life" and human evolution is already built into the natural history of the "Great Chain of Being".


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.