Fuck, I was JUST on vacation in Japan. I was even clothes shopping in Harajuku! Guess I'll have to visit again sometime.
Kaibar's forum posts
I have an actual question. Is it cool to be gay in Japan?
Does this answer your question? It probably doesn't.
I think Japan is pretty liberal when it comes to sexual orientation, in that people don't really care what you do in your own home. But there's also no same-sex marriage, and some people frown upon openly gay couples who don't live a gender-normative lifestyle. So I guess it's similar to most states in the U.S.
Of course you can discuss philosophy here, especially if it's linked to video games. I think discussions of this kind can provide an interesting perspective on what role games play in our lives. See for example this great blog post about philosophy of religion and gaming:
For me, video games can also pose some interesting questions that can be answered in a philosophical way. For example, In my last blogpost I tried to answer the question of what a game is with Wittgenstein:
Thanks for your comments :)
@redelectric: I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'd love to hear your further opinion on the subject.
@wickedfather: I'm sorry you didn't like the piece, but I appreciate your criticism. I admit that philosophy can be a dry subject, but please don't mistake my rationality for being dispassionate. Both video games and philosophy are important things in my life, which is why I treat them so seriously. Though I can see how this would be boring to someone who doesn't already have an interest in the topic. English also isn't my first language, so if you have any specific tips on how to improve my writing style, please let me know.
That's great, thanks for the information! I already own Luigi's Mansion, MH3 and Fire Emblem... hm, maybe I'll get Castlevania, I didn't think it looked as bad as everyone made it out to be, and the demo was pretty alright. Then again, I'll probably get Donkey Kong Country at some point, so maybe I'll just wait for that.
Nice first article :D I'm looking forward to reading more from you!
I've not read much about philosophy of religion, especially not in the context of gaming, so this stuff is new to me. Which of course makes it all the more interesting! I especially liked your idea of gaming as having similar transcendental properties to religious practices. Although I think that a lot of art, or music, and probably also drugs could be described as having that same quality of transporting one to a different plane, if that makes sense.
Also, for future articles, maybe it's just my bad English, but I didn't fully understand the paragraphs where you used what's probably standard lingo in religious studies. Like the last paragraph, where you talk about gaming being 'bodily'. What exactly does that mean, and is it opposed to, say, the mental? Anyway, it would be nice if you explained stuff like that since I doubt that many people here are used to that kind of terminology.
@paul_tillich: Thanks for clearing that up! I really only know Peirce through Rorty, and although I love his writings, he does have a tendency to misrepresent the people who influenced him. The ideal community theory is actually something that I feel like is echoed a lot in modern moral philosophy, e.g. in Habermaß' ethics of discourse.
Back on topic, after thinking about it, I feel like writing about a single videogame might actually not be the best way to discuss philosophy in them. It's like interpreting a book or a movie, there's not that much room to ascribe actual scientific theorems to it. The better alternative might be to take videogames, or a genre, as a whole and discuss the direction it's taking as a piece of culture that's becoming more and more important. I don't know much about theological theories, but an interesting topic could be how different religious cultures produce different kind of games. You already mentioned Japanese development, and I would agree that the way they treat religious imagery in games is probably due to Japanese popular religion being open to a lot of different ideas, thus not taking offense as much as western societies.
There's also the obvious connection between moral values and religious backgrounds, so maybe a critical essay on how that influences the 'goals' in videogames could be interesting.
@paul_tillich: I remember your original thread, and as a philosophy major would love to see you write about some of this stuff. Since Peirce's pragmatism is all about 'ideal scientific conditions', if I remember correctly, anything that shows how science can go wrong could potentially be interesting. Like the original Bioshock or similar dystopian games.
Also, as a fan of Davidson, please don't call analytic philosophy a failure :( It's no more a failure than classical pragmatism, in that it evolved into something much different from its origin. For example, you can't really compare modern pragmatists like Brandom or Rorty to James or Peirce, I think.
Also, shameless plug for my blog where I discussed Philosophy in video games: (I think it was even inspired by your original topic :D)
@rittsy: Getting into philosophy can be a bit daunting, but I strongly encourage it since it can be really rewarding. Judging from the topics you named (free will, ethics etc.) you might be most interested in the practical branch of philosophy. If you want to start from the beginning, most of Plato's early dialogues are easy to understand and don't really require any previous knowledge about philosophy. Another classic and one you really can't get around if you're seriously studying philosophy is Immanuel Kant. His Groundworks of Metaphysics of Morals is pretty interesting and also not too hard to understand. A personal favorite of mine is J.S. Mill's Utilitarianism. I think it's a bit misunderstood as far as moral philosophy goes, as it really is more humanistic and optimistic than people made it out to be.
Now, if you really wanna go off the deep end, most modern philosophy is in the field of philosophy of language. In my opinion, the most interesting studies in recent times have been by philosophers in that field. There's Ludwig Wittgenstein, who's enigmatic and hard as fuck to understand, but he might just be the most important philospher of the 20th century. There are also a lot of American philosophers, whose writing style is a bit more traditional. I can wholeheartedly recommend Donald Davidson, who you should know anyway if you're American, since he arguably shaped the American philosophical tradition more than anyone else. Then there's Richard Rorty, whose Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature is not only smart and takes care of some of philosophy's oldest problems, but is also very well written, with hints of irony and humor. His most accomplished student, Robert Brandom, is also one to look out for.
As far as Europeans go, I would say start with Martin Heidegger, and take him as a basis for a lot of great French philosophy. Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus wrote some awesome existentialist short-storys, like the Wall and the Fall. Honestly, I don't know much about the rest, but Michel Foucalt and Jacques Derrida are probably the most noteworthy post-existentialist French philosophers. I'm not too fond of post-WW2 German philosophy myself, but if you are, I'd recommend Jürgen Habermaß. Don't bother with T.W. Adorno.
Now, that's just a brief overlook of Western philosophy. Maybe even more interesting is the philosphy of cultures you're not born into. I'm currently looking into Japanese philosophy. If you're into that, maybe read Fukuzawa Yukichi, he's been called the great enlightenment-philosopher of Japan, and probably rightly so. For a more critical cultural study I'd recommend Masao Maruyama, although he's more a sociologist than a philosopher. For deep, metaphysical examinations of the history of philosophy in Asia and how it relates to modern Western philosophy, various writers of the so-called Kyoto School are woth looking into.
Ok, I'll stop now. You're bound to find something that interests you, that's one of the great things about philosophy, there's so much of it!