"Folk Magic and Folk Games: The Occult Power of Play"

Howard, Jeff ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9077-1025 (2024) "Folk Magic and Folk Games: The Occult Power of Play". In: Viktor Wynd Last Tuesday Society (Invited Talk), January 23 2024, Online.

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Abstract / Summary

The history of folk magic and folk games are deeply intertwined. This is especially true in non-digital games, such as board games and card games, which are contemporaneous with the origins of folk magic and share much of its worldview. Ancient games, such as Senet and tarot, begin as entertainment and later acquire divinatory and ritual significance, while designers of modern tabletop games such as Solemn Vale and Dark Gods of Appalachia consciously weave the folk magic traditions of Cornwall and the Appalachian Mountains into their mechanics and worldbuilding.

This talk will explore the ways in which games can function as ritual and folklore, with particular attention to the category of games referred to by Caillois as “ilinx” or “vertigo games”—games designed to disorient and, potentially, to alter consciousness. Approached in this context, games can thus operate as what Andrew D. Chumbley called “the widdershins dance of the sufi”: a deliberately countercultural practice by which play serves as a vehicle for transcendence and contact with the spirit world of ideas, archetypes, and visions. In this talk, the author will discuss the ramifications of an occult approach to games on theoretical game studies and practical game design.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Communication > Media
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Digital Games
Depositing User: Jeff Howard
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2024 12:14
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2024 12:14
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/5413


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