Philosophy Through Video Games
Jon Cogburn, Mark Silcox
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How can Wii Sports teach us about metaphysics?
Can playing World of Warcraft lead to greater self-consciousness?
How can we learn about aesthetics, ethics and divine attributes from
Zork, Grand Theft Auto, and Civilization?
A variety of increasingly sophisticated video games are rapidly overtaking books, films, and television as America's most popular form of media entertainment. It is estimated that by 2011 over 30 percent of US households will own a Wii console - about the same percentage that owned a television in 1953.
In Philosophy Through Video Games, Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox - philosophers with game industry experience - investigate the aesthetic appeal of video games, their effect on our morals, the insights they give us into our understanding of perceptual knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, and the very meaning of life itself, arguing that video games are popular precisely because they engage with longstanding philosophical problems.
Topics covered include:
* The Problem of the External World
* Dualism and Personal Identity
* Artificial and Human Intelligence in the Philosophy of Mind
* The Idea of Interactive Art
* The Moral Effects of Video Games
* Games and God's Goodness
Games discussed include:
Madden Football, Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Sims Online, Second Life, Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, Elder Scrolls, Zork, EverQuest Doom, Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, Mortal Kombat, Rome: Total War, Black and White, Aidyn Chronicles
continuing development of a software application called Storytron by the revolutionary game theorist and designer Chris Crawford. See his description of what this application is supposed to accomplish at “Storytron Overview,” 20 Jan. 2008 http://www.storytron.com/overview/ov_index.html. In Putnam, Hilary. Representation and Reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991, Putnam makes an argument against the language of thought that can actually be strengthened by reference to Wilson and Stich’s work. Putnam
dimorphism starts to look ominously like a criticism of sex itself. This sort of observation has caused many feminists of the past twenty years or so either to reject the idea that all physical attraction based upon sexual dimorphism between human beings involves objectification, or else to conclude (following existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre)43 that treating human beings at least partly as objects is simply a universal and unavoidable feature of our mental lives. From this
someone’s becoming a “different person” often do have a certain plausibility, especially when we assess whether people are morally responsible for past actions. However, these ways of speaking also contradict other well-entrenched linguistic practices. The 43rd President still talks on the phone with his father and calls him “Dad.” If a completely different person was instantiated in his region of space-time, would it be at all rational for him (the new person) to continue this sort of a
is inevitable to do so.52 As long as humanity desires to manipulate and understand nature, classical physics will of necessity be with us. If CRUM is analogous, then it would be the height of folly to conclude from our critique that academic and commercial research into CRUM should be abandoned.53 Finally, nothing we have said above entails that computers cannot in principle do what humans can do. In the case of the limitation results, we do know that a computer cannot follow an explicitly
Aristotle and traditional religions ask us to believe. But it might at least be enough to endow the relationships we form and the tasks that we choose to undertake—not only in game worlds like those of Myst and Riven, but in the “real” world that we all share—with a temporary, ephemeral meaningfulness that can cure us of the bleakest forms of pessimism. 7.6 The Game of Life We have now looked at two starkly incompatible philosophical views about the meaning of life. Would it make any sense to