Catharsis

When do you feel catharsis playing rpgs?
How much of it is related to play, and how much is related to the relationships you share with players?
You might not be able to answer that second question, and that's okay.

Comments

  • Can you give an example of how you experience it?
  • I like closure, but never felt catharsis in RP as I did for drama or movie.
  • I feel a lot of catharsis when I roleplay, especially during big character moments, and at the end of long storylines and the like. It's way more intense of catharsis than I typically feel consuming static media, and is a big part of the appeal of roleplaying for me over just sitting down and writing (although I often do that as well).
    It's really nice.

    I'm not really sure of the ratio between how much is a product of play and how much is a product of the relationship between me and the rest of my group, because it's been years since I played with anyone else, and my practice wasn't nearly as coherent last time I played with people from outside of our current group, so it's not really possible to compare.
  • edited February 12
    Can you give an example of how you experience it?
    I feel it in between the moments, when I'm sitting or standing there thinking, playing back what just happened in my mind.
    I feel if often as nostalgia, like a long, soft catharsis.
    I feel it at the end of play, as wonder. It's still interesting that people can create something together, and that thing can be experienced, and that that thing is mostly immaterial. It's still very much magical to me. If I go into a thing, without much hope, or worry, it can feel nice that life can surprise me with something that is sometimes lovely.

    The tension of play, of actual direct me and game kind of catharsis, is rare. It's more often player to player tension that has then resolved somehow. The questions I might have in play, aren't often answered by the game, but it's often hard to separate where the game ends.

    I guess, the more invested in something, the more likely for this thing to happen. I mean, we must be getting something from playing rpgs, or we wouldn't be doing it.

    I assume that something, along with other somethings, is a bit of catharsis.
  • When do you feel catharsis playing rpgs?
    How much of it is related to play, and how much is related to the relationships you share with players?
    I find the creation and release of tension in dramatic games *creates* a relationship with the other players, even if they are total strangers. I play with strangers a lot, so I've seen this many many times.
  • I often feel catharsis when playing Fiasco. It usually happens when
    1. Half my brain is 'playing to loose', the other half is somehow immersed in the role
    2. Another player supports my thing in a dramatic way
    3. The situation has personal meaning for me (bleed?)

    Rarely it happens in OSR games too when I make self sacrificing moves etc.
  • edited February 12
    Oh, very true : it works when there's bleed ! Typically, in a fear/horror scenario, like Hurlements and Cthulhu, when I summonned my inner fears.
  • I experience something - not 100% sure it's catharsis, but it's something close, for sure - when I play a meaningfully emotional game with people I care about (who could start out as strangers! I agree with Ben about having that experience!), and everyone is engaged with the premise.

    It seems to happen most when the game deals with real-life issues (even if they are presented in fantastic ways), so there's an added weight - a sense of learning about the human condition - to our play.
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