Emotional catharsis: Hmm . . . that’s an interesting term. There are a lot of ways I find spiritual release, and there are a lot of intense emotional experiences that trigger a need for release, but to explain how storytelling leads to that; well that will take some thought.
I honestly have no experience with video games, and so I am going to try and relate that experience of being involved in a story to something different in my own life.
While I am not a gamer, I am definitely a wordsmith and an observer of human nature. Storytelling is probably my most effective means of communication with the people I love. Everyday has a story in it as far as I am concerned. I love to relate those observations to my family and friends, and I find that interactions, both experienced and observed, roll over and over in my head until they become full blown scripts that I can’t wait to relate.
My family of five boys is all grown now, and the quiet house I used to pray for is sometimes just too quiet. When that happens, TV just doesn’t fill the void, and I will coax my husband out to the porch for a good old conversation. Watching the world from that perspective seems to evoke a good storytelling session and a genuine laugh. It can also be the place where we solve the world’s problems and find a sort of calm in an otherwise chaotic situation.