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Guhde, A. (2017). The Other Game: A Journey into the World of Warcraft. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(1):35-45.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(1):35-45

The Other Game: A Journey into the World of Warcraft

Alexandra Guhde, PsyD

Many people today live out significant aspects of their internal lives online, in a digital world. Rather than analyze these worlds as mere metaphors for real life, it has become increasingly important for psychotherapists to be willing to participate in these worlds as they are described during the clinical hour. It is necessary to work within a paradox: An online fantasy world takes away from living life in the outer world; the world online offers the safety necessary to help the patient approach living his life in any world. This article explores a case in which I learn to work within the parameters of an online gaming experience—World of Warcraft™—to help a patient integrate split-off aspects of himself as he develops the capacity to own his desires. In this case, the game functioned as an “Eden project” (Hollis, 1998, p. 33), an earnest, if severely constricted, search for paradise lost. This article illustrates what was found—not Eden, but true Otherness.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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