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by adam mathes
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Experiential Gaming

In other words, I sometimes play games to “blow off some steam” from work, or to escape from the nightmarish demands of a student life that stands outside of my control. But when mastery (or domination, violence, aggression, etc) becomes a game’s central source of pleasure, it places a mortgage on my desires, gratifying them temporarily until they rear up again in a few weeks. It is neurotic pleasure.

However, when I fulfill a game with my own imaginings and make myself a part of the world it offers – whatever that might be – and allow myself to be transformed (emotionally, bodily, spiritually) in the process, I enjoy the game in a completely different way that does not pay dues to repression or neurosis. This poetic way of imagining changes the game: I can no longer just shut down the game after a few hours and call it a night. The game dwells in me.

Chris Lepine

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