Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

World of Warcraft and Philosophy

A book of essays around the game, World of Warcraft, and philosophy, has been released.

It's not really my thing, to be honest, and I won't be buying it. I still dig WoW, but the kind of pop philosophy that exists behind books like this, and others on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bewitched, and whatever large social pop culture fad that is in existence, doesn't ever really grab me. The essays usually end up being the worse examples of the 'make everything have meaning' mentality that make High School English so painful--except that instead of drawing meaning out of a painful set of Emily Dickinson poetry, the attempt is being made with a TV show or video game.

However, that doesn't mean the Amazon user reviews aren't any fun!

Monica Evans introduces us to the lore of World of Warcraft, discussing misdeeds and other noteworthy misadventures. Plato and Kant are introduced innocently and unobtrusively, yet I could feel the gentle increase of my intellect by at least +2!

Another highlight is Miquel Sicart's Warrior angst and consequent in-depth philosophical discussion of game play, game community, and game ethics. Again, I felt a nice increase in INT +2!

You could even call it a sexy read, as the ethical implications of flirting and role play are explored in the most unlikely places. OMG! I just got a boost in charisma +1!

This book makes the game itself more fun. After settling in to read for a bit, I rejoined my guild and found myself considering many things I hadn't previously pondered. Is the rogue really female and does it matter? How much real money is that epic loot worth? Does the game play affect our real personas? What linguistic influences will carry over into RL? What's the etymological root for noob? Tank? Or griefer? How long before folks are going to the doctor to report that their health bar is low?

A true delight for the thoughtful gamer! Belongs in a spot on the book shelf between Plato's Republic and Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash.

Good times, good times.


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