I posted on this topic many months ago, but became busy working on my dissertation and let the idea slip by the wayside. But after chatting with MattBodega and EpicSteve while in line to play Transistor (which was great, by the way) at PAX East, Steve convinced/demanded me to finally make this project a reality.
The short story is I am finishing a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology and my focus is the intersection of science and religion. I am also an expert on religious pluralism. I have run across academic articles from scientists, philosophers, and theologians engaging video games in different ways. This made me wonder what themes related to my own work I could find in the games I play and whether a given game could deepen existing understandings of a given philosophical or theological theme. It is also a good excuse to practice my writing while engaging my beloved leisure activity.
So biweekly I will be writing long-form essays (not 20 page papers, but probably between 1,000 and 2,000 words) on science, philosophy, theology, and games. I am going to start with two posts introducing what academics have already done by distilling the information in some journal articles for those not in the field. That will transition to the first game/franchise I will handle, Deus Ex, since it repeatedly comes up in academic articles and was requested in the old thread on this topic. The lineup after that will be as follows:
- Final Fantasy X - Death of God theology and the inherent flaws in all God concepts
- Bastion - Eschatology and hope in the face of social evil and natural doom (like the heat death of the universe)
- BioShock Infinite - Political philosophy and religion in the public sphere, focusing on religious pluralism and how differences can or cannot coexist
After that, I want suggestions! I will be drawing from my older post on this topic, but hopefully new people will be reading this and have new ideas. Tell me what games, franchises, or general topics interest you. Hopefully the conversations on each post will generate ideas for what to write about next. Also, while engaging serious topics, I hope this will be fun and interesting for anyone. That being said, if any of these seem interesting enough and with the help of everyone who comments, I hope to turn some of these posts into articles I will publish.
So follow me if this sounds interesting and look for my blog to be updated with my first post about this business sometime Sunday night or Monday!
P.S. My avatar image is when Paul Tillich (theologian at the heart of my dissertation and GiantBomb namesake) met Albert Einstein, because science and religion.