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    Latest Topics


    What do video games allow and not allow?

    The character creation and storytelling features of video games are often interesting and compelling, but each game — by the very nature of its design and coding — doesn’t allow a player always to do exactly what she wants in the game. What is a player to do?

    • I think that there is something deeply philosophical in this topic. Concepts like the rhetorical situation and determinism can also be of use here. – Matt Sautman 8 months ago
    • They can submit new ideas to the developer, but things that people think they want is not always the best idea. – dff5088 7 months ago

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    Latest Comments

    This is a great article with good sources and good use of evidence from the text.

    I honestly get stuck a little on the comment about objectivity, though. It’s a comment attributed to Haber (Judith Haber?): “Haber postulates the importance of separating the actual work from the author’s biographical information as a means of thwarting misperceptions of literary works. The abundance of articles devoted to Christopher Marlowe’s sexual preferences influences readership and interpretations of this poem in a different manner from his predecessors, Ovid and Musaeus. Haber distinguishes the fact that these previous poems are not perceived through a homosexual lens of introspection, which reiterates the problem of Marlowe’s private life disrupting an objective reading of his epyllion.”

    How is ignoring the author’s biographical information considered a move toward objectivity in our reading of a text? (I understand the New Critical argument about the “intentional fallacy,” but I would not expect to find more recent critics simply repeating that argument.) Couldn’t we just as easily say that refusing to acknowledge the author’s biographical information when it comes to queerness shows a lack of objectivity in how we are reading? To be objective, would we not need to reject all biographical information as well as all previous interpretations of the text for everything we read? And even then, are we not still reading the work through our very own personal (and subjective) “lens of introspection”?

    Homosocial Bonding in Marlowe’s Hero and Leander

    I think you’re right that we can’t directly teach creativity. What we certainly can do through teaching, though, is foster creativity by demonstrating the rewards in branching out, in doing something a little differently to see how it turns out, and in learning from the results, whatever they are. All of us have creativity in us. It may look very different from person to person, but we all have it.

    Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?

    I want to comment on your observation about two traits that you see as inherent and thus unteachable: “There are two things, however, that one cannot learn to become a writer, and that is, how to learn and how to persevere. These must be inherent to the aspiring writer because there is no way to teach them…”

    I’m not sure that these two characteristics — how to learn and how to persevere — actually are unteachable.”How to perservere” seems to me to be pretty much synonymous with being resilient, and there’s mounting evidence that we can do a lot to improve our resilience.


    Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?

    When I wonder what J.R.R. Tolkien would say today, my mind always goes back to his views and the views of his fellow professor/high-fantasy-writer friend C.S. Lewis. They did not see the value of studying modern literature. They wanted the Oxford program in English to focus on literature written before 1400 AD, not after. Lewis expressed their view wonderfully: “the student who wants a tutor’s assistance in reading the works of his contemporary might as well ask for a nurse’s assistance in blowing his own news.” I don’t agree at all with that view, of course. Everything and anything can be taught and written about, including modern literature or Tolkien’s influence on fantasy gaming.

    The Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on Modern Video Gaming