Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Reverse Psychology


Whilst this weeks article is not a write up of  a particularly cunning Baldrick like plan to outwit a turnip thief. Nor is it a prose regarding the extraction of an infighting party from a particularly sticky situation. I have been wondering recently why Roleplayers are not more aware of psychology. Now there is an underlying irony here as being aware of anything is a function of some psychology or other of course but as most of the club demonstrably functions above plant like awareness of day and night it is always worth wondering why we wonder.

We have a forthcoming career promotion to our Warhammer characters soon as we are cashing in on a growing trail of professionally dispatched corpses as per the Skullbashers Direct customer commitment and I'll be mulling over the classes available to my Rogue. But as in D&Ds most recent incarnation there are archetypes that always present themselves in good narrative order and I think there might me merit in scrutinising where archetypes come from.

In the great tradition of great psychologists it seems that formative work in the field was done by Carl Jung and although masters of the mind exhibit both genius and insanity, the theories that stick will tend to have merit. More so Carl Jung as he founded analytical psychology but his approach to human archetype is rooted in anthropological imagery - cave paintings being the hominid evidence - recurring mental images or themes drawn from our evolutionary heritage - the foundations of mythology and art. The deep roots of archetype cannot be underestimated as the implication is that mental imagery processes came long before our higher functions in our Darwinian path which goes a long way to  understanding the machinery of the unconscious and our shadow characteristics.

Im not going to attempt to digest the entire field in one paragraph but it does explain why roleplaying is so engaging, its not just an artistic side effect of exercising our imaginative muscles, it actually emerges from ancient and powerful mechanisms that idealise ourselves in different ways and generates an ethical scaffold to develop the best, or indeed worst of our characteristics - this imprints us somewhere on the lawful good/evil axes. Basically we are rolled up from the character classes that proceeded us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.