Aspect

A meditation on videogames, dreams, and walking with our shadows.
Vocal track excerpted from “Man & His Symbols” (Audiobook) by Carl G. Jung.

The psychologist Karl Jung famously identified the “Shadow” as the part of our personality with which we don’t readily identify. In dreams, the Shadow may reveal itself to us and cause us to be aware of these qualities through its actions and interactions with us. According to Jung, it is crucial that we accept and own our Shadow so that we may progress as individuals.

Though not directly connected to our subconscious, video games may act as artificial dreams, through which the Shadow can also make itself known. In games, we may act out fantasies and take actions that are at odds with our ordinary conscience. We may even feel guilt for enjoying some of these experiences. For example, the cathartic violence we enact upon simulated beings may represent expressions of negative feelings carried over from the real world that may have remained repressed if not for the virtual space into which we have unknowingly projected our identities. While it is important to discuss the ramifications of the simulated violence in many of these spaces, we also must recognize the significance of our willingness to participate in it, and the opportunity such experiences may give us to walk beside our Shadows.

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