The serious game: towards a hermeneutic understanding of the Tarot
Frost, J. 2016. The serious game: towards a hermeneutic understanding of the Tarot. The International Journal of the Image. 7 (2), pp. 15-32.
The images of tarot cards are rich in symbols which invite interpretation and speculation. In this paper I explain the predominant uses of the tarot cards. In parts of Europe the tarot is still played as a game; in Britain and the United States it is used for divination. Particular attention is given to the writings of Antoine Court de Gebelin and Jean-Baptiste Alliette, in the eighteenth century, as key turning points in the use of the cards from gaming to fortune-telling or cartomancy. As the practice of visual interpretation and the disclosure of truth are central to divination with the tarot, I refer to the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer as an appropriate way of understanding the practice. I utilize Gadamer’s notions of play, festival and symbol to explain the relationship between gaming and reading the cards. From this I am able to formulate an understanding of cartomancy as a form of serious play, related to but differing from game play in the nature of its encounter with the symbol.
|Journal||The International Journal of the Image|
|Journal citation||7 (2), pp. 15-32|
|Publisher||Common Ground Publishing|
|Online||30 Mar 2016|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||31 Mar 2016|
|Accepted||06 Feb 2016|
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