I know someone mentioned Descartes already, but I'll do it too.
You have to exist to be able to doubt your own existence. Everything else may very well be illusory, but your intellect, at the least, your self awareness, exists.
Why does everyone have to quote Descartes on this? He got it backwards, one's own thinking or doubting can't validate his or her existence. Only social interaction and communication can do that, without other 'minds' it wouldn't even make sense to speak of existence, or for that matter, of anything. Modern philosophy since Wittgenstein has worked on abolishing this kind of self-centered solipsism, but apparently it's still a deep-seated attitude.
Dude who mentioned the positive aspects of existentialism has it right; self-reliance and responsibility are the best consequences to draw from an otherwise meaningless existence.
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:
@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.