Sunday, October 03, 2004

Magic Circle

The Ouija board is all about game "color" and atmosphere. If it wasn't for the magic circle then a game like Quija board wouldn't work. Knowing that there is a separate attitude and rules for behavior when sitting down to play Quija is essential to its success as a game. For Quija gamers adopting a lusory attitude allows for the board to be successful. The time, space, and environment of Quija could be anywhere but usually people about to play the game accept the popular and most effective environments like an attic, or a dimly lit room, or anywhere that is neutral enough to call attention to the boards answers and the players involved. The game is very simple and therefore accessable to all players. The board is very clearly labeled and has very clear clues in it to directing players how to use the magnified glass piece (an object in the circle). Entering and exiting of the game circle is also very clear in that your hands are always on the piece when a game is going on and they are off when a game has been distrupted or ended. Communication and collective reaction to the board is most of what the game is based on. Everyone is working together to ask questions and get answers from the board.

Another element of the circle is the setting of the Quiji board. Everyone understands the degree of imagination or faith involved in the game is high. You must either play along or believe in the powers of the board. The board from its name down to its look tries to evoke a mystery and power and gamers must bring that power to life. But once you are in the game circle there is really only one question...

whooooo is in the rooooom with us now?


Blogger Jane said...

Great observation regarding the importance of color and setting for Ouija bourd play. I also agree with you that perhaps the most fragile element of the game's magic circle, as well as its most important, is the players' professed "belief" in the system-- whether true or feigned for the purposes of allowing the game to continue. That's a really strong example of how the lusory attitude and magic circle go hand-in-hand.

Finally, you might be interested to check out this online (collective) version of the Ouija board: . It's a telerobotic online Ouija board that lets up to 20 people play together using a robot based at UC Berkeley.

October 4, 2004 at 9:10 AM  
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