Psychodynamic Reflections on Halo

  • Domenico Arturo NesciEmail author
  • Filippo Arturo Nesci
Case study


In this paper we provide a psychodynamic reflection on the innovative first-person shooter videogame series, Halo. This paper describes the most important elements of the narrative as well as some innovative features of the videogame, which enables players to craft artistic objects (by oneself or in cooperation with other players) and to share them with other players online. We suggest that anxieties and conflicts of our era have been unconsciously represented in the Halo titles. Their narratives deal with the risk of extinction of humankind for both outer and inner disasters including the invasion by alien species from space, or self-destruction due to perverse use of scientific and technological progress. Therefore, playing the game (which involves both shooting at enemies and creating personal works-of-art) might have therapeutic functions, allowing the players to “work through” collective unconscious anxieties. This could explain the extraordinary success of the Halo brand and open new horizons in the development of future videogames. Potentially addictive (negative) aspects of the videogame are also considered.


Videogame Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Digital art Extinction anxiety 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli” IRCCSRomeItaly

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