Amy VanHym's Reviews > Archetype Cards [Booklet and Card Deck]

Archetype Cards [Booklet and Card Deck] by Caroline Myss
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did not like it

The good -- A great concept, a generous number of cards, and six blank bonus cards to personalize the deck.

The bad -- This deck features hideously amateurish artwork in a style harkening back to the drudgery of dragging myself through my uninspired public school textbooks... but worse. These drawings are depressingly bad: messily clashing colors and patterns, people whose arms are of wildly differing lengths with extra joints (the "athlete" is a broken Stretch Armstrong), children with stubby little arms and hands larger than their heads, expressionless round NPC faces, chronic obesity, no sense of the third dimension or the human form, all dulled by the drab aimlessness and alienation of forced multiracialism. I feel sick with boredom the moment I look at any of them, an unease amplified by all this incessant bright red.

There's also some stylistic inconsistency in summaries on the cards, with intermittent uses of second-person language (you, your) which is psychologically and creatively limiting. The point is to think about archetypes -- stop trying to bring "me" into it! I find I regularly have to mentally rephrase the language on the cards in order to properly interpret them. Sometimes I need to rewrite them entirely, since many either don't make sense or don't say anything substantial. For example, the "light attribute" of an addict is intense focus and dedication, not "Helps you recognize and confront addictive behaviour." That doesn't make any sense.

Arbitrarily, some of the attributes on the cards are the actual attributes of the archetypes, while other times, the attributes on the cards are instead what the author expects a user to get out of meditating on the (unstated) attributes of the archetype. Which one you'll find on a given card is random, and the structure treats these two different levels of thinking as though they are interchangeable. It's clear that very little thought went into organizing this system.

The most ridiculous card I found: The Damsel. This one is special: of all the archetypes in the deck, this is the only one defined by the author's decision that it ought to be a different archetype. A light attribute included "needs to learn to take care of herself," which I've papered over with "Acknowledges her own sex-based weaknesses." And the downright retarded shadow attribute? "Accepts that women are weak and need protection." Sorry, honey: women are weaker than men, and we do need some protection. I corrected the text with the true shadow attributes of the damsel: "Punishes men for women's weaknesses, weaponizes victimhood, and demands special treatment."

The philosophy behind this deck is unhealthy. The author has a flimsy and often backwards grasp of archetypes. I'll enjoy playing with these concepts -- mostly by editing and erasing them. I really wish the cards weren't such hell to look at. They won't be recognizable by the time my sharpie is done with them.

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Reading Progress

November 19, 2018 – Started Reading
November 19, 2018 – Shelved
November 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

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