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
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
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
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 me to pay huge dividends not
Halo’s modern warrior code, as expressed over and over in the orders given to you both by characters and by the game itself (orders like “Defend Dr. Halsey”) is to shoot those you have been told to shoot because the world must be saved. Just as the rule-based practice of the Iliad perpetuates the Iliadic warrior-code, the rule-based practice of Reach perpetuates Halo’s. . .
One of the things that fascinates me most about the epic traditions of the world is the way bards naturally sing their tales within cycles. The Greek word κύκλος just means “circle,” and the cycle with which I’m most familiar—the ancient Greek one—is usually just called the ἐπικὸς κύκλος “epic