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Dragon Age, The Qun, and Egoistical Suicide

David Paulino

Posted on July 15, 2021 15:50

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Dragon Age is known for its diverse set of characters and culture. One culture that stands out is that of the Qunari, called The Qun. The Qun applies a high social integration and low individuation, everyone has no individual self. They are part of what makes the Qun. Using Durkheim’s four types of suicides as a lens, we can understand how the Qun interprets those who leave their society.

Dragon Age is a critically acclaimed game that is known for its expansive world and diverse characters. I would say that the driving force of Dragon Age comes from the plethora of characters that fill its universe. Each of those characters represents a culture or belief, their reactions to the main character's decisions are a representation of the beliefs they represent.

One belief that has made a vast impression on me is that of the Qun.  

The Qun is a philosophy that governs what is known as The Qunari (People of the Qun) it is a system that governs their society as well as decision making. The Qun absolves all of its followers from the self. Their names are relegated to their position in the Qun. They are like cogs that power the machine of the Qun.

In Dragon Age: 2, we are introduced to the Tal-Vashoth. They are those who have abandoned the ways of the Qun. To the Qun, the Tal-Vashoth represents a type of suicide and sickness that comes from ego, freedom, and choice; Egoistical Suicide. The Qun is not the problem, the ego leads them away from the solution, the Qun.  

Egoistical suicide is one of the four different types of suicides coined by sociologist, Emile Durkheim. Egoistical suicide happens when “from man’s no longer finding a basis for existence in life.” This is because society has failed to integrate them and give them a sense of purpose and belonging.The Qun exists to give people purpose through its application of philosophy and order.  

In Dragon Age 2, we are introduced to the Arishok, the leader of the military branch of the Qun. Through the Arishok one can learn how the Qun looks at the Tal-Vashoth, “We lose nothing when weakness abandons the Qun. It is the Tal-Vashoth who have lost themselves.” To the Arishok, the Qun offers the solution; order and discipline to the problem of ego and choice.

The Qun is always the solution -- a solution that the Tal-Vashoth denies. Due to their inability to allow themselves to be dictated by the Qun, Tal-Vashoth is considered weak because of their selfish choice to succumb to their desires.  

I find this to be a very interesting concept because in some ways it can serve as a reflection of our society as well. Next, I will look at it through the eyes of the Tal-Vashoth since their actions take on a different form of suicide known as Fatalistic Suicide. 

David Paulino

Posted on July 15, 2021 15:50

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Source: KFYO 790

With a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, 2 Texas Tech psychology researchers are leading an effort to find...

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