Last Week’s Links

Video Games Are Changing the Hero

Videogame heroes take up a larger amount of people’s imaginations today than they ever have before. In the cultural economy they are as big a force as the heroes in books and movies. But as relatively new as videogame heroes are, some still question their ability to impact us on the level of more traditional art.

Jon Irwin argues that the hero’s story in a video game is not static, locked in, as it is when we read a book or watch film. Rather, when we take on the hero’s persona while playing a video game, the hero’s story plays out according to the decisions we make along the way. He backs up his point with references to scientific studies.

There’s an interesting point to contemplate here: in a video game we don’t merely observe a character, we become the character. How does this changed perspective affect the way we understand the significance of the hero’s story?

Reading Etiquettes for Dummies

What I am going to tell you is the correct way to read

I’m always a little suspicious of any title telling you what you must or should do. Nonetheless, Naina does have some good advice for anyone whose New Year resolution is to start a reading program.

However, most of you reading this blog will already be avid readers, with your own ways of approaching reading. I’m curious to hear:

What is your reaction to Naina’s directives? Do you use any of these approaches, and do they work for you? Let us know in the comments.

Fahrenheit Zero: 7 of the Best Novels Set in the Depths of Winter

As yet another snowstorm blankets the Northeast, settle in for a reading adventure with one of these “novels that explore winter in all of its forms, from the tragic to the comic, and from the terrifying to the transcendental.”

Farewell to the reader in chief

In the San Francisco Chronicle John McMurtrie bids a fond farewell to President Obama, who “has been an exemplary ambassador for literature, a leader who has championed reading as a way to open our eyes to the world, to nurture understanding, to see ourselves in others.”

McMurtrie also takes a look at our next President-Elect Trump, who “claims he doesn’t have the time to read.” McMurtrie ends with a call to action for writers and other artists:

there is no reason that these coming years cannot be a time in which writers, and all artists, create meaningful works, works that celebrate the true wealth of the world in all its diversity of peoples and cultures and experiences, works that question and provoke.

What Doctors Can Learn From Looking at Art

Medical schools and hospitals are beginning to include the reading of literature in their training programs for physicians. Here Dhruv Khullar, M.D., explains why:

Therein lies the significance of learning through art: It is subtle and indirect, yet it ingrains insights deep within your consciousness. You feel and know even before you can think or speak.

 

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown