When the viral campaign for Christopher Nolan's Inception was launched it began with Mind Crime, a game in which players choose a starting and ending position on a grid. The grid then converts into a map where the player must navigate through a mazelike city avoiding detection and the bad guys. Recently, players discovered a note within the game that said, "Send To Cpt Darren Bartel" and a virtual instruction manual for the "dream machine" called PASIV (Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous Device). This is the device the characters use to access dreams in the film. One of site's users decided to google "Cpt Darren Bartel" and discovered the latest stage of Nolan's marketing campaign.
It was a dream research interview conducted by Nolan himself discussing topics concerning REM sleep, consciousness and lucid dreaming with three dream experts. The first guest, William Domhoff, a research professor in psychology and sociology and author of The Scientific Study of Dreams (2003) relays information about how the human body remains paralyzed during sleep. Nolan’s second guest is Jayne Gackenbach, dream researcher and professor at Grant MacEwan College, who talks about how lucid dreaming is monitored in sleep labs, the types of activities the dreamer can do within the dream and universal dream themes. The final interviewee remains nameless and discusses a new military program called Project Somnacin. It is assumed this is an actress intended to reveal some of the plot details. She says,
Once someone is aware they are dreaming, they can actively participate in the dream- sometimes even change it. Usually when you’re aware you’re dreaming, you wake up. But we have techniques that can train someone to stay in the dream and with enough practice one can stay in a dream for an extended period of time.”
“[The military] took it one step further. If one can actively participate in one’s own dreams, what would happen if one could participate in another person’s dreams? The military calls this program ‘Project Somnacin.’ And from what I’ve heard, two or three subjects are able to collectively participate in one dream."
Viewers are left to ponder about who Cpt Darren Bartel is? And what is exactly is Project Somnacin? The mystery surrounding Nolan's new film continues as we wait for the next segment of this already entertaining marketing campaign.
Inception arrives in theaters in Los Angeles on July 16th.
For more info: Visit Inception's official website.
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