Is this a dream?

A few nights ago I had a fever induced dream. 
The full story might be too long for most, so I'll skip it. But the main thing is that all the way through, I was convinced that I was playing a video game, and a good one at that. It never crossed my mind that this was a dream, as I'm sure most of you have had happened to you while sleeping; this realization that you are in the dream and can even manage to take control, that is if it doesn't shock you awake. 
The game was somehow a mix of Bioshock, Dead Space and System Shock 2, along with some references to Douglas Adams's books. It was amazing and horrifying and more, all at the same time, and I recognize that thrilling mixture from playing some games (including the ones listed), where I'm excited to be involved with something so novel and fun, and yet assured of the horrors that await me. Still I felt in control, and free to enjoy the atmosphere, since I 'knew' this was a game, and felt like I had played it before, so I wouldn't trigger the enemies or events unless I overstepped certain boundaries of the hallways I was traversing.  
The feelings I had then and there seemed more intense, personal and real than much I've felt in waking life for the past years. I even discovered the abandoned apartment of my family (in real life I'm single and childless), where we had obviously been celebrating my son's 9th birthday when whatever disaster struck that left me in that situation. Also I obtained my old space-suit (mixture of Big Daddy and Dead Space suits), that had a scorch mark on the face shield which triggered my memory of having died before. Instead of being in a dream yet thinking this was real, where I would have been shocked, confused and terrified, I was simply emerged into this video game mindset and thought 'Cool!'. 
I could go on, but hopefully you get the gist of it. This made me wonder if by gaming we might have evolved some sort of different capacity or mindset than previous generations would have imagined. A second nature? Not sure how to explain this thesis yet. Someone a few centuries before me might have woken from this dream, thought 'Fantastic!' and started writing about the things he saw. But this seemed so normal to me. You could argue something like this about movies, I suppose; about how people before film wouldn't have comprehended movies if you'd described it to them. But a gamer is somehow more susceptible to more immersion than the average movie-goer. Or what? 
Has anything like this happened to you?


Gaming communities of smaller countries.

I live in Iceland, which has a population of just over 300.000 people. Well, 330k if you count foreign workforce temporarily stationed here for big industrial projects and such, but nevermind! 
Despite this small amount of people, our gaming culture and market seems relatively booming, along with other entertainment industries, of course. But somehow I'd think gaming was for a smaller crowd than, say, cinema and such. 
Are there any of you from countries with such small numbers in population? How would you describe your native gaming culture? How is gaming seen by the 'out crowd'? Are games relevant in the general media, such as television? For example, I rarely if ever saw commercials for games in television until about the launch of the PS3, at the latest. 


Have you ever...

Have you ever wondered where gaming fits into the grand yet personal scheme of human nature? What would the special characters, individuals and geniuses of past centuries have thought of video games? Would they have deplored them? Not been bothered at all? Could games maybe have helped them realize some psychological, metaphysical or philosophical problems they spent their lives trying to solve and write about?    

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