hit counter code Cathartic Creativity
the World

Cathartic Creativity
Author: Keith Haney

What you create is a part of you. Attempting the task of creating a fictional world requires you to draw upon your own experience to give the world life. In doing so you create a thinly veiled diary of your own life and influences. Like any writer you are pouring some of your soul into your work.

If you take the time to study the gaming environment it is a cooperative meeting where you act out our fantasies in front of your peer group. This in its very nature is a dangerous exposure of ones psyche. As the Game master in this environment you have the distinction of being the mediator. Your rulings put boundaries on the fantasies of your players. This makes your role an important one for the well being of the group. Remember that for your players to have fun they must be able to act out some of those fantasies.

Years ago when I showed some of my campaign drawings to a psychologist friend. As I explained the stories behind each of the characters and the setting for the world, he supposed that the setting and relationships had possible direct links to people and events in my life. This realization hit me with all the subtlety of a piano out of a blue sky. I had always figured I was just channeling the collective consciousness for my ideas. After examining previous campaigns it became very clear where the inspiration for places and situations came from. Hindsight is a powerful tool.

I make this point not to discuss the details of my life, but to bring about a discussion regarding the nature of role-playing as a means of emotional wellness. It is no secret that patients wishing to cure emotional trauma use role-playing in their sessions with their therapists. Might I suggest that regular role-playing is healthy and promotes mental wellness?

Even in the imaginary world of role-playing is important to not shirk your responsibility as a moderator. Because you are the overseer and caretaker of the world you must use that power with the idea of promoting constructive unity. Game masters who abuse their power will quickly find that they have no players willing to subject themselves to their arbitrary authority.

Crafting a session for growth
In each session of game play you should carefully examine what your players take an interest in. Don’t waste time forcing your player to endure activities that do not interest them. Observing what they like increases your odds of creating adventures that appeal to your group. Create scenarios that challenge morality, invite discussion and promote unity. A mature group of players can really engage in deep satisfying role-playing.

Knowing the players in your group will help you to present them challenges that will assist them in their personal growth. Practicing a scenario in a safe role-playing environment may aid your players to achieve similar results in their real-world encounters. Use your time together to do more that just seek out adventure in fantasylands, mix in some real world relationship hurdles to test the resolve of your players. It will etch the memories of conquest deeper than hack and slash alone and your NPCs will be the topic of discussion outside the gaming environment and take on a life of their own.