Philosophy Through Video Games

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Avariety of increasingly sophisticated video games are rapidly overtaking books, films, and television as America's most popular form of media entertainment. It is estimated that by 2011 over 30 percent of US households will own a Wii console - about the same percentage that owned a television in 1953.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Cogburn (philosophy, Louisiana State Univ.) and Silcox (humanities & philosophy, Univ. of Central Oklahoma) note that philosophers have traditionally been depicted as "spacey dreamers" and that "it must be hard to imagine how the revelatory insights that philosophy is supposed to provide could be achieved while playing video games." To make this less difficult to imagine, the authors examine a large number of specific video games in terms of their possible philosophical implications. In each of seven chapters, they begin "by describing a philosophical puzzle that arises from reflection on some particular genre or species of video game," e.g., personal identity, theories of perception and phenomenalism, and how violent games affect users' ethical, moral, and aesthetic dilemmas. The final chapter deals with "what many philosophers regard as the most important philosophical question-'What is the meaning of life?'" Throughout, the pertinent thinking of many philosophers, both past and present, is thoughtfully considered. There has been an upsurge of interest in philosophy books dealing with pop culture subjects, and this book should be of interest to a large readership; highly recommended for all libraries.
—Leon H Brody

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415988582
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/12/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,368,252
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Cogburn is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University. Mark Silcox is Assistant Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma.

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Table of Contents

1 I, Player: The Puzzle of Personal Identity (MMORPGs and Virtual Communities) 1

2 The Game Inside the Mind, the Mind Inside the Game (The Nintendo Wii Gaming Console) 17

3 "Realistic Blood and Gore": Do Violent Games Make Violent Gamers? (First-Person Shooters) 50

4 Games and God's Goodness (World-Builder and Tycoon Games) 73

5 The Metaphysics of Interactive Art (Puzzle and Adventure Games) 91

6 Artificial and Human Intelligence (Single-Player RPGs) 109

7 Epilogue: Video Games and the Meaning of Life 135

Notes 156

Bibliography 182

Index 191

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