The Mythic Scope of Journey. A Comparative Assessment Concerning the Spirit at Play and Cybernetic Shamanism

Robert William Guyker

Abstract


Video games yield some of the most immersive virtual experiences of mythos today. They render, conceive and engage in a shared heritage of symbols and images drawn from world stories, mythical tropes, creatures, and environments. Thatgamecompany’s Journey has recently emerged as a concise expression of this impulse to keep myth innovative, and gaming evocative. Working towards unraveling layers of motifs, I will approach Journey as a cybertext and mythic text, drawing on works ranging from philosophical treatises, poetry, sacred narratives and shamanism for comparative analysis. My initial task is to establish the video game as a participatory rendering of the Hero’s Journey, while then breaking the cycle into individual components of motifs, themes and mythemes to parse the discourse of Journey’s exposition. I then argue for Journey’s ongoing engagement with reimagining the gaming experience through a commitment to synergistic immersion in a myth-minded environment.

Keywords


mythology, hero’s journey, narrative, Journey, motif, simulation, shamanism, video game

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2014.0.12176