"Ludomancy: Games as Occult Practice in Between States"

Howard, Jeff ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9077-1025 (2023) "Ludomancy: Games as Occult Practice in Between States". In: Trans-States: The Art of Deception, September 9-10 2023, Northampton.

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Abstract / Summary

Games and the occult are deeply intertwined, from the first knucklebone dice used in both divination and gambling, to the ritualistically encoded ancient Egyptian board game of Senet, to the arcane tarot cards that serve simultaneously as card game and devices for cartomantic fortune telling. The Magician card to whom the Trans-States 3 Conference is consecrated is in French the “jongleur” (juggler or mountebank): a man whose altar doubles as a cardsharp’s table. Games exist in a trans-state par excellence: between frivolity and profundity, the material and the digital, this world and the other(s). In this talk, the presenter will explore games as a means of shifting between states of being and consciousness, with particular focus on two case studies, both of which he works on as a designer: Deadhaus Sonata and The Arcana Ritual Theater. Deadhaus Sonata’s Trinary Archetype system allows players to shift between physical, magickal, and essential states. Similarly, Arcana is a ceremonial magick simulator which enables players to perform occult rituals in a magic theater to summon spirits, perform astral projection, and unlock the mysteries of the multiverse. Similar examples of digital and tabletop games will reveal play as an occult practice. While the Satanic panic of the 1980’s may have been literally false in its claims that Dungeons and Dragons was a route toward Satanism, games can function as imaginative gateways to other planes of existence (whether the Egyptian astrological magic of Nephilim, the Left Hand Path Qlippothic Gnosticism of Kult, the magisterial, multimodal magic of Invisible Sun, or the solitary hermetic magic of Seekers Beyond the Shroud). Through theoretical analysis and practical performance, the presenter will conjure up a vision of ludomancy (the magic of play), suggesting that it can reveal the play at magic’s heart and open up playful space within ossified traditions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Communication > Media
Philosophy & Psychology
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Computing for Games
Depositing User: Jeff Howard
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2024 12:17
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2024 12:17
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/5415


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