Has watching anything, or playing a game or reading a book or anything like that ever given you nightmares? I don’t mean watching your loved ones die in a horrible, gory explosion right in front of your face – that’s going to give you some fucked up dreams, no doubt. I just mean something ostensibly made for entertainment – has it ever got in your head to the point you have woken up in a cold sweat?
It’s a common thing for people to say ‘it’ll give me nightmares’, but what I’ve found is that it’s the anticipation that’s worse, then the way your mind plays tricks on you – especially when tired, drunk, hungover or otherwise in a less-than-perky condition. Nightmares? No.
Except for once. Night Breed. The Amiga. I was six years old. There was a section in the game where you had to run away from snake-hair man in a graveyard by tapping the mouse buttons as fast as you could. If you didn’t taptaptap fast enough, he caught you and bit you in a delightfully bloody fashion.
So naturally you want to taptaptap fast enough, right? Well, no. See, if you get away the police would corner you and shoot you dead.
You couldn’t win. You literally couldn’t escape. I mean, that was the point – I think you were meant to be bitten so you could be infected and blah de blah. But I was six, for eff’s sake. I gave up when I realised I’d die no matter what I did. Then I had a bad dream about it.
But other than that slight misstep I’ve never had a bad dream as a result of a film, TV show, game, book, comic, musical, stage show, street performance, dance troupe, contemporary artfag play – nothing.
I still see Martians from the corner of my eye, peering at me through the doorway in my room whenever I watch War Of The Worlds though. I’m both awake and 28. This shit shouldn’t scare me anymore.
Now nightmares about real things – oh those I can tell you some stories about. Those are the things that never fucking stop. Sigh.