Settlers, Gamers, & Identity Politics: A Depth Psychological Approach

  • Author / Creator
    Crichton, Joel A.
  • A paper developing insights regarding gaming, the concepts of indigeneity and settler colonialism, artistic appropriation, and the field of psychotherapy. The writer engages in an intensive and sustained analysis of the psychic material (including dreams and active imagination) that emerges in relation to engagement with the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (Wizards of the Coast, 2014). The approach is phenomenological, and grounded in the psychology of C. G. Jung. The concepts of settler colonialism and indigeneity, discussed in response to the emergent psychic content, are explored in relation to one another as well as to gaming. Through the work’s continual reflexive turn toward its own content, insights are gained about the nature of gaming and the gamer’s psyche. As an offer toward the understanding of compulsive gaming-related psychiatric disorders (World Health Organization, 2018; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), it is suggested that a key danger of compulsive gaming may be its illusion of safety, providing a sense of potency, agency, and immersion in a magic circle (Huizinga, 1955) that is apart from reality. A multilayered understanding of the relationship between settler consciousness and indigeneity is developed. It is discovered that, in circumstances where imposing Indigenous values on an individual contravenes that individual’s genuine nature, this imposition can itself be a colonial act.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.