NFM in the Classroom
Every so often, some creative soul produces an original idea that is born of the merging of two previously parallel realities, leaving the rest of us marveling at the offspring of their insights. Dr. Joseph Swope is one of those souls. His book "Need for Magic" is the triumphant child of his vision for bringing together the recent fervor for fantasy literature and the ever elusive goal of engaging students in the process of understanding psychology.
Following the exploits of a young stable boy (Kevin) through an imaginary world filled with wizards, dragons, dwarfs and elves, Swope subtly integrates principles of social psychology into the story line. For those on whom subtly is lost, Swope includes an appendix indexing the principles being illustrated in the narrative.
About Need For Magic
Need for Magic is a classic, high fantasy story. The arch-villain is not a dragon, wizard or overlord. The evil one is a charismatic woman who knows what people need. By masterfully playing to everyone's need for approval and their need to feel important, she inspires fanatic devotion and gains the throne of a large nation. Even those with great magical power or deadly skill with a sword have needs. As a result, they too are played like puppets by her deft hand.
Magic and Social Psychology, like all forms of power, can be used for good or ill. History is filled with leaders, dictators, and heroes who seem to have had a magical hold over others. There are few things more powerful than many people sacrificing for a common goal. The magic of Need for Magic is alive and well today. It can be practiced by anyone who listens to and watches what need people seek to fill.