Headlines Now

I hope to get around to writing more extensively bout a whole mess o’ things (note the folksy, plain American way of expressing myself; I’m auditioning for President of the U.S.) — a review of World of Warcraft, the Castronova controversy (to which Liz drew my attention last week), several points in David’s most recent issue of Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the premise of “‘justice’ as fetish.”

But today’s the first day of classes at Seabury, so I’m already falling behind (again). We’ll see what I can scribble down in odd moments.


Morning dialogue in the kitchen —

Dad: Jennifer, would you like a croissant?
Jennifer: Sure!
Mom: Feel free to put it in the toaster for a few seconds.
Pippa: I ate mine cold, like the cavemen used to do!
(General expressions of delight and mirth)
Pippa: Especially the French cavemen! While we were developing the wheel, they were far ahead of us in the culinary arts.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for the Castronova link. I used to play those sort of games quite a bit (Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot), but I think the situation of “evil” in those games was in many ways different than in Warcraft where the one side is really the “evil” side.

    But, back to the point, I think the whole question of whether there are ethically significant issues in online gaming is a contentious one, made the more contentious, I think, due to the players investing so much of their time in them and not wanting to admit to themselves that there might be something morally perilous about their decision to do so. The only issues I’ve seen players ready to discuss have been economic or semi-economic ones, namely what constitutes cheating or defrauding or the issue of making a real money profit from gaming.

  2. My gaming “cred” is admittedly thin (I’m just an old D&D dinosaur). But my favorite characters varied from chaotic good to the occasional neutral evil, so…

    I’m interested in whether the posited moral issue is restricted to gaming, or if other sorts of artistic depiction come into play. Rutger Hauer (sp?) plays pretty much bad guys only; would that also be seen as morally iffy? What about authors who create convincing and successful villains? I wonder too about the overall balance: does whatever good arising from the artistic creation of evil characters mitigate or even outweigh any bad moral consequences? I suppose the first thing would be to try to delineate those bad moral outcomes.

  3. Ah, the advancement of civilization is predicated on bread. We all know this. How astonishing that Pip would serve as reminder.

    Now, when did Nutella come along? That was an advancement far more important than Iron.

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