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The Magic Circle: Gaming, Games, Gamers

A Presentation by Joel Crichton

November 24, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

The Magic Circle is an archetypal concept appearing in alchemy, the séance and the Tibetan mandala alike—but it is also frequently used to describe the unique world that people enter into when agreeing to play a game. What is the archetypal dimension of gaming? Games are a polarizing subject, often villainized, but equally often loved and celebrated. From a point of tension between these opposites, what can we see about what the game provides us, as well as what it steals? This talk embarks on a Jungian analysis of these questions, weaving in dreams, fairytales, and game experience from games as ancient as Go to present-day DOTA. The talk also involves discussion of the cultural games we play to facilitate social experience, the uses of gaming for ego development, and the dangerous spectre of gaming addiction.


Joel Crichton is a Jungian Analyst (diploma candidate) with the C. G. Jung Institut of Zürich, Switzerland, living and practicing in Victoria, BC. His writing is concerned with three only-seemingly-unrelated topics: Gaming, improvised performance, and Shakespeare—and how these relate to Jungian Psychology. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Psychotherapy & Spirituality from St. Stephen’s College. His work has been published in Jung Journal and Quadrant.

This presentation will be on Zoom. Zoom link tickets are $20 for members, $30 for non-members, and free for students with identification. Please use the Two-Hour Lecture payment option on the Events tab or send an etransfer for the appropriate amount to jungsocietyvictoria@gmail.com