jkillpack

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Video Gaming and the Art of Education

    Video Gaming technology has passed a threshold – from arcade-style entertainment to virtual realism. As such, games have become an increasingly literary, story-driven experience. What future might Video Games have as educational devices in the literature classrooms of tomorrow? Could the teachers of today legitimately present works of gaming literature in the classroom for students to explore and analyze?

    • My comparative lit colleagues and I spoke about this topic once and I suggested that choice-based episodic games released by the now defunct Telltale Games would provide great materials. As a natural transition of the Choose your own adventure books, games such as the Walking Dead or Fables (Wolf among us) can prompt discussions about the medium, narrative structures and philosophical choices. The community aspect (where all the choices are tallied in the end) is also an interesting aspect worth of attention. – kpfong83 7 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    The lines are definitely blurred by works such as “Avatar: The Last Airbender” – an animated series that uses a mixture of American and Eastern motion techniques, and one that also incorporates the many of the same story elements notably found in anime series’ such as “HunterxHunter” and several others. From the use of power-imbued youth to the insistence on self-mastery to obtain greater control and depth to personal power is central to both of these works of animation from a story-development standpoint.

    Duality of American and Japanese Animation

    This is an insightful analysis of the mythological underpinnings of the film. I was particularly intrigued when the thoughts of this essay arrived at the idea that Thor as a character was symbolically an American figure. What my mind instantly flew to was the scene in “Avengers: Endgame” where Captain America was confirmed equally worthy to wield the hammer of Thor. However, as a character, Captain America seems both very worthy and yet also fairly unworthy of such recognition. Given the succinct description of the worthiness qualifications herein (that is, the trefoil of diplomacy, humility, and self-sacrifice), it is easy to see how Captain America embodies self-sacrifice to the letter. However, his grasp on the other two qualities seems fairly limited. His feud in Civil War hinges on his inability to consider his own failings humbly, and it also exposes his extreme distaste for diplomatic decision-making. This is why, ultimately, it seems as if the power of Mjolnir is most directly linked to self-sacrifice – identifying it as the ultimate attribute of worthiness.

    Thor's Worthiness to Wield the Hammer

    I also find this silent horror movement fascinating, especially since it feels to me more like a rebranding of tried and true horror techniques perfected by filmmakers decades ago than it does a new movement in film. Still one of my favorite “silent horrors” from back in the day is the masterfully suspenseful “Wait Until Dark” – an iconic work of Terence Young starring the great Audrey Hepburn. The film, based on the original play of the same name, follows the horrific experience of a blind woman trapped in her home with a murderer. It highlights the blind community in much the same way that “A Quiet Place” does the deaf community. Ultimately, viewers are made to feel greater sympathy for those that live blind, and they are also led to marvel at the incredible things the blind character achieves, despite her difficulties.

    Hollywood's Fascination with Silence and Horror