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Friday, April 21, 2017

Game Theory: On Persona, the Velvet Room, and Individuation


Game Theory by Matt C.

If you've ever played a Persona game, chances are you've spent a lot of time in some iteration of the Velvet Room. They play an important narrative role, being the place where each protagonist’s journey begins, and where you get to choose the name that NPCs will spend the next 100 hours camping you. On more practical terms, they're where you manage your collection of personas, and success on any but the easiest difficulties means taking time to fuse these creatures and perfect your line-up. There's a lot more to the Velvet Room, though.

Persona is a series that draws heavily on the work of psychologist Carl Jung. We have Jung to thank for the very concept of personas and shadows, which form the basis of the whole Persona mythos. Persona 4 went a step further with dungeons that are physical manifestations of characters psyches, exaggerations of their unconscious selves, be explored, challenged, and reconciled - a fantastical adaptation of the process of individuation. The Velvet Room has a similarly Jungian basis.

Game Theory: On Persona, the Velvet Room, and Individuation
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