Chapter

Psych-Out

Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267398.003.0003
Psych-Out

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The passions that course through a game help to render the memories lasting. At the same time, the temporal, ritualistic structure of chess lends itself to the narrative recall of what happened during a game. Chess games have clear beginnings and endings, clear-cut temporal structures, and a tangible, segmental architecture. This built-in narrative design makes it easy for people to develop narrative accounts of what happens during a game. For many, the losses linger most, often in vivid, heart-wrenching terms. Chess players know this psychological truth well. Painful losses—and most losses are painful—sear themselves into a person. It is often the case that after tough losses players toil over the course of the game, sometimes passionately or obsessively, like a wounded psyche revisiting a traumatic event, to figure out what went wrong or how they could have played differently.

Keywords: passions; game; memories; chess; narrative design; losses

Chapter.  12015 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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