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Geekdom & Spirituality

2021

Geekdom & Spirituality

We know a lot about the therapeutic benefits of geekdom. This session is about the spiritual benefits— enhancing our sense of identity, meaning, and belonging — of engaging in our geekdoms.

How can RPGs, video games, comic books, participation in fandoms, etc. help us discover who we are? How can "playing to bleed" and the fictional distance afforded us by playing games and reading sci-fi/fantasy strengthen our growth, exploration, and healing. Have a discussion with panelists who have spent years thinking about and living spirituality.

Menachem Cohen (He|They)

Menachem Cohen (he/they) is a spiritual director, rabbi and tabletop game designer. Much of his work is in the use and design of RPGs for spiritual growth, exploration, and healing. He has written for One Child’s Heart and is adapting Dreamchaser for use in therapy and spiritual direction.

He also has some original RPGs in the works. He has extensive personal and professional connections to the the LGBTQ+ community, street based youth, harm reduction, and trauma-informed practices.

Tanya Keenan, MA, AAC

Clinician II
Compass Health

Tanya has been a nerd since she first saw Star Wars (in a theatre!) and a gamer since she got her first Atari system. She put games aside for a while, but never lost sight of her love for scifi and fantasy. She has been playing video and tabletop games for over 20 years, including D&D, Jedi Knight, Mysteries of the Sith, Assassin's Creed, MouseGuard, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV Online, and Destiny 2 (her first console game).. She began to see the therapeutic benefit of games almost as soon as she began to contemplate becoming a therapist.

Tanya works in community mental health as a clinician for homeless youth, taking part in a partnership between her agency and an agency that works to end youth homelessness.

Tanya is also the director of Doxacon Seattle, a Pacific Northwest conference exploring the intersection of Christianity and speculative fiction.

Robert King, MA

I am a freelance writer and editor and occasional gamer, currently developing a graphic novel based on the Epic of Gilgamesh and a space opera novel. I'm fascinated by the way stories (whether told or played) offer vicarious experiences to aid us in living fuller lives.

As a Roman Catholic, I'm also intrigued by the way different spiritual and metaphysical worldviews influence the way we hear and tell stories.

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