Role Playing Games in Trance
This piece was originally written and posted to his Srypnosis site by David Brager many years ago. It is reproduced here by permission. His roleplay related pieces were formerly archived on my old related site and since that site is now defunct, I have moved them here for obvious reasons. I had been toying with the combination of experiential trance style hypnosis and roleplaying games as well as with acting since the early-1980s so when I stumbled across Brager’s essay early in his work while in the research phase of my own doctoral dissertation on interactive drama scenario-style freeform live action roleplaying games in the mid-1990s, we struck up a correspondence regarding approaches of this type.
As if Freud was not accurate enough, the Ego and the Id really are the basis for hypnotic thought. When a person is in an awake (conscious state), their ego controls their environment (how they want to be seen by others). While in an hypnotic state, their Id is in control (what they really are to themselves). It is from the Id that alternate Egos can be explored.
The “Non Living Character Ego” is fun. Think of any main character from any movie or TV show that the subject is very involved. Then tell the person that they are going to take a break, and rest, and their body will become, for example, “Captain Kirk”.
Most Trekkies and fans of “Star Trek”, from watching all of the shows over the years, know every nuance and reaction that Kirk would have in any situation. Now, the subject, becoming “Captain Kirk”, leaves the realm of role-playing, and enters the world of true alter-ego living.
Having taken this to its limits, for true-to-life “Dungeon and Dragons”, or other role-playing games, role-living games are a blast. People who play role-playing games spend all their game-time creating their own character’s ego. It is very easy for them to become their character because the character is probably living the type of exciting life the person would love to explore. This type of hypnosis requires great skill, and certainly has risk.
One time, while going through this type of session, using the foundations of “A little fear and NO PAIN”, a player, gilded in our finest armor (a coat), shielded well (a garbage can lid), and armed with a solemn sword (a broom-handle), was taken out to a meadow (back yard) for knight training. With me were two of the subject’s best friends and a “game master” ((aka GM) this is what the person that creates the scenario of a war game and maintains the action of all players and monsters).
When presented with the order of clearing a field of “Kobolds” (a rather weak monster that travels in hordes, but could be killed by a strong enough sneeze), the player made very cautious steps, well planted footings, and in each of our own imaginations, we could see that the subject believed this was real (although he was the only one who could see the kobolds) as each parry and thrust was precise and accurate.
The ogre he fought next was a bit more difficult. The evergreen tree that we announced was an ogre took some brutal damage.
After a few more fights, our now seasoned warrior stood amongst us, and we talked. This was only slightly hampered when the GM turned to this player and said,”I’m a Belrog.”
The player lost a bit of color from his face, turned to look way up in the sky, and then turned and ran into the night. “That was the correct move,” the GM announced. Color began fading from my face when I turned to the GM and asked, “What’s a Belrog?” He replied, “Oh, a Belrog is a twenty-five foot, or so, tall winged demon.” It took us a half-hour to find the player.
Ever since this experience, I allow the GM to talk, but the player is not to take the suggestion until I either give approval, or I restate the instruction in the most concentrated way to assure that the player is made reasonably safe from the instruction.
Just so you know, this is the basis for a new type of experiments I am exploring at this moment (November, 1995). I wish to merge Virtual Reality with Hypnosis. I believe that the emotional basis of Reality is made more intact with a common acceptance that “this is real, but you will not be hurt, and in case of your computer player is decimated to the point of an end of a turn, that is when the reality experience will stop, and you will just wait until your play begins again before the belief that this is real will turn back onto control.” It should be a wild ride, but I am more interested to see if people who normally experience nausea with VR play will not have that problem if they simply accept the environment as “Real.”
Note, that’s Brager’s misspelling of Balrog, not mine. So, hold off on the correction flames if they’re pointed this way.
Please be aware that we are hosting a free online webinar related to Hypnotic Roleplay this weekend. See http://briandavidphillips.net/2012/08/10/hypnoroleplay/ for details. If you’re in Taiwan and would like to join our upcoming free workshop on Mindgasm then check out http://briandavidphillips.net/2012/08/28/mindgasm2/ for more information.
If you’re in Taipei and interested in hypnosis, check the services page linked to in the top left sidebar. Not in Taipei, check the store for recordings in the same menu area as well as links to lots and lots of info and goodies.
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If you’re in Taipei and interested in hypnosis, check the services page linked to in the top left sidebar. Not in Taipei? Check the store for recordings in the same menu area as well as links to lots and lots of info and goodies. Of course, browsing this site will bring you to a digital ton of positive resources on a wide variety of topics as well.
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