The Big Break of BioShock, part 1

Dec 05, 12 The Big Break of BioShock, part 1

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What separates someone who’s just playing HALO or BioShock to fill a few hours of his or her time from someone who’s “doing humanities” by performing within a ruleset that goes back to homeric epic or Platonic philosophy? On one extremely important level, nothing. As I’ve demonstrated in previous posts...

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Epic Life: Back to Bungie 2

Oct 24, 12 Epic Life: Back to Bungie 2

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The proposition with which I closed my last post, that we might get gamers to read Sophocles, seems, to be sure, wildly impractical. So let me backpedal on that a bit, and try to lead up to it along another path. What if we got them to play HALO? Here’s the thing: these HALO players are doing what Stephen Greenblatt calls...

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Epic Life: Back to Bungie 1

Oct 10, 12 Epic Life: Back to Bungie 1

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In my last few posts I’ve outlined a massive undertaking: convince the gamers of today (in the Warkian sense, really, of everybody who practices in modern culture, with the caveat that Plato recognized the same dimension of culture 2500 years ago) to be humanists through a demonstration that their lives are epic. I’m...

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Epic immersion, part 1: in medias res, not in mediis rebus

Feb 10, 11 Epic immersion, part 1: <i>in medias res</i>, not <i>in mediis rebus</i>

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The beginnings of practomimes, whether oral traditional epics or narrative video games, can, I think, tell us a great deal about some fascinating similarities and differences among how performers through the ages–bards, storytellers of all kinds, video gamers–expressed themselves artistically. Such comparisons seem to...

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Halo: Reach as practomime

Dec 02, 10 <i>Halo: Reach</i> as practomime

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This post is a sequel to my two earlier ones here on Play the Past: “Halo: Reach as epic” and “A note on the word ‘practomime’”; I apologize that some of it makes very little sense without certain elements of those posts as backdrop. The scarcity of ammunition dominates the campaign of Halo: Reach, at least for a...

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