BHSU Geek Speak explores myth and patterns in video games during International Games Week

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, November 2, 2018/Categories: Events, Students, Community, Events, Faculty, 2018

Gamers unite! The cultural relevance of video games will be discussed in the next Geek Speak lecture at Black Hills State University. Aaron Bauerly, systems librarian, will present “You are the Hero: Interaction with Mythic Archetypes Through Games” Thursday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall Room 110.

On Nov. 8, BHSU will also be celebrating International Games Week. This lecture event is open at no cost to the community. The timing of this Geek Speak is also unique to its topic. During the day, the BHSU Library will be hosting board games, activities, and competitions as a part of International Games Week.

International Games Week is an initiative to promote the reconnection of community members through gaming and will be Nov. 4-10, 2018.

The library is planning to add board games and video games into circulation so that students and community members can check them out like books.
As a lifelong gamer of both video games and board games, Bauerly said there is a desire to justify his hobby and legitimize it. 

Bringing in different games and themes into the presentation, the main focus of the Geek Speak will be the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The presentation will include videos of gameplay used for demonstration, a lecture, and Q&A.

The Geek Speak lecture will look at myth and patterns in video games. Bauerly truly appreciates the academic side of the games and all of the work and craft that goes into the creation of them. Bauerly expressed, “I want to enjoy the games but have that study of them as well.”

Bauerly says there are many misconceptions and views on video games. He plans to relay an “understanding that there are some artistic elements to video games and a cultural relevance.”
The book “Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell teaches theories that can be applied in and out of the classroom. Finishing his undergrad degree in English, Bauerly has mostly been taking literature and creative writing classes.

“After taking some classes and doing more reading with Joseph Campbell, and applying his readings to literature, I started seeing patterns in the games that I played,” Bauerly said.
BHSU offers a variety literature and writing classes and has recently added a new creative writing minor to their schedule.
For more information please contact or 605-642-6956.

About BHSU Geek Speak:

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students and the community to diversity within the disciplines. Some Geek Speaks are also presented at the Jacket Zone store located on Main Street in downtown Spearfish. All lectures are free and open to the public.
  • Nov. 15: Kelly Kirk, instructor of history: “Honoring Veterans' Legacies”
  • Nov. 29 – Dec. 6:  University Honors Capstone Defenses
  • Jan. 10: Desy Schoenewies, associate professor of art: “Drawings from China: Experiences from the BHSU/Baoding University Partnership BHSU Artists at Baoding University”
  • Jan. 17: TBA
  • Jan. 24: Tracy Hunt and Chelsey Groseclose, counselors: “The Matrix Within: from Insomnia to Lucidity, the Powers of Sleep and Dreaming”
  • Jan. 31: Altman Studeny, Carrie Gray-Wood, Tim Steckline: “Twisted Fibers: Felt as Art, Technique, and Social Critique”
  • Feb. 7: Dr. David Cremean, professor of English:  “Bruce Springsteen as Storyteller”
  • Feb. 14: Jeffrey Winter, instructor of mathematics: “Secrets and Unconventional uses of Microsoft Office”
  • Feb. 21: Dr. Holly Downing, professor of biology: “Why Our Mascot is Not a Bee—The Frustrations of a BHSU Entomologist”
  • Feb. 28: Dr. Max Marc, professor of management information systems: “Artificial Intelligence vs. Humans: Thought Experiments on the End-Game”
  • March 14: Dr. Jarrett Moore, assistant professor of research and assessment: “Manufacturing (Real)ity”
  • March 21: Dr. Chris Hahn, assistant professor of music: “We’re All Musicians: Exploring the Brain-Music Relationship”
  • March 28: BHSU Research Symposium Keynote Speaker, Meier Hall
  • April 4: Petrika Peters: “Global Dumping: What Happens to Your Electronic Waste?”
  • April 11/April 25: Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, associate professor of English: “A Spontaneous Overflow of Powerful Feelings:” A Two-Part Poetry Writing Workshop to celebrate National Poetry Month
To read short descriptions of each lecture topic, visit
For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, associate professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email

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