Catharsis - 1. an act or purging or purification 2. elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression. (Webster Dictionary)
What is your emotional catharsis when playing games or experiencing a story?
Games are played for fun, right? I remember playing a game of Monopoly with my son years ago. It was an intense game, we each had properties and with the luck of the dice he was winning. I do not recall the exact circumstances, but I cheated. Yes it is a sad day when you cheat against a 4th grader in a game of Monopoly. I do not recall who eventually won that game, it does not matter. What mattered is that I cheated. I remember later admitting my sin to him, and his chastisement. That game taught me a lesson, I still feel guilty over it. I remind myself of that game whenever the competition and emotions of the moment get to high.
It is only a game, so easy to forget in the heat of the moment. The adrenaline gets pumping and oh, the thought of victory is so close. It is a race of who will win, an when the winner is decided a rush of satisfaction fills in where the adrenaline has been used. At times I have been a bad winner when the race has been brutal. I am superior!, a normal feeling.
But when I lose. I now try to remember my "Monopoly" experience. It is a true statement, "it does not matter if you win or lose, it is how you play the game." My true catharsis is that I am truthful to my self in being honest. I may have won but there would not have been any victory in that game. The victory is honesty. For then there is no guilt and that is truly the best purification.
When experiencing a story, I know that I will feel it emotionally if it is an interesting story to me. If it is not interesting I will probably tune out or skip through it and it will bounce off of me like skipping stones on a lake. I may touch down a couple times and remember a high light now and then. But if it touches me, it will touch me deeply. I will feel the emotion, I will take it in and many times when it triggers a connection, I will cry. Whether it be a good or bad story, crying is neither good or bad. It is a purging of emotion. It is an expression of spirit.