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IS COMMANDER SHEPARD FEMALE? DETERMINING CANON IN VIDEO GAMES

variations on Commander Shepard from Mass Effect 3 ¶ What follows is a post in our JAAC x AFB collaborative series, where we highlight articles from the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. This post features Marissa D. Willis’ recent paper, “Choose Your Own Adventure: Examining the Fictional Content of Video Games as Interactive Fictions“. ¶ “Video games don’t tell stories,” he told me. “They’re just games.” ¶ So said a friend of mine when I told him I was writing about video games as works of fiction. And despite his mansplaining my own topic to me, my friend was giving voice to the very problem which I hope to address. Despite the fact that more people are playing video games these days than ever before, and game makers continue to create more inventive and engaging narrative works every day, my friend is not alone in his opinion. ¶ Although there have been some recent exceptions, such as the works of Jon Robson, Aaron Meskin, and Grant Tavinor, video games are often overlooked in the philosophy of art. Many people don’t consider them to be a form of art at all, rather “just games”. And when games do turn up in aesthetics textbooks, they tend to be lumped together with film and television and afforded no special interest. This is not only a shame but a loss for philosophy. Not only does a great deal of artistic effort go into making a video game, but the result is more than... -

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What Are You Reading…On Feminism

It’s been an uneven week for women’s issues. On the negative side, you had Tucker Carlson’s misogynistic comments and prominent women being featured in the ... Read more... -

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Why Mortality Makes Us Free

The heart of spiritual life can not be found in nirvana or heaven, but in the mutual recognition that this life is our ultimate purpose. -

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