Final Fantasy Fiasco!

I am saddened to have to announce that I have had to pull my contribution to Blackwell’s Final Fantasy and Philosophy book,  Moogles, and Chocobos, and…Kripke? Oh My!, due to unacceptable editorial cuts made by the series editor Bill Irwin. Originally the paper was 25 pages, the book editors wanted it cut to 13 pages, which I did (that is the version I link to above). Then the series editor wanted it cut to 7 pages! This I could not do. I am going to leave the paper up at my website just in case someone wants to read it. I spent six months writing and re-writing it, so I am a bit peeved…but what’re ya gonna do?

All in all this has been a very enlightening experience for me. I was excited about the Pop Culture and Philosophy series because I thought it was a way to bring philosophy from the Ivory Tower to Main St. In particular I was excited about the prospects of turning people on to analytic philosphy.  But after this, and the fighting I have had to do in order to get serious philosophy into the Terminator volume, I now have a very different feeling about this series…

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10 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Fiasco!

  1. I’ve noticed that as time has gone on there is less and less actual philosophy in these volumes. I can’t figure out why. It’s moved more and more to the kind of philosophy freshmen do late at night while eating pizza.

  2. Kris, damn! I was planning a Dino and Gricean implicature paper! :)

    Clark, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that they are more interested in making money than doing philosophy…

  3. Did you see this call for editors? Given some of the work you’ve done, you’d be ideal for it if you have the time, and it would give you some room to compensate for the failures of the Pop Culture and Philosophy series.

  4. I just started reading Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The Final Walkthrough, and unfortunately I’ve discovered that my original excitement was immediately doused with just plain poor writing.

    Chapter One (written by Benjamin Chandler) proved to be interesting in its lack of scholarly thought and mechanics. The author seems to attribute the theory of semiotics to Barthes, rather than Saussure. There are little or no transitions between thoughts. Furthermore, Chandler constantly says “Character ‘A’ is a writerly text” without explaining in detail how. Yes, I’ve read Barthes and understand what it means, but being the “scholar,” perhaps he should illustrate HOW the character functions as such? Perhaps the most–I can’t even describe it–irritating (?) section is this:

    “More experienced gamers may be able to correct me on this point, but to my knowledge Crisis Core is the first game where players know that the playable character has to die in order to complete the narrative” (15).

    Not only does the author fail to ASK ore experienced gamers (aka, do research), Crisis Core is by NO means the first game. I’d hardly call myself an experienced gamer yet I remember Lufia II for the SNES having a similar situation. This is over 10 years prior to Crisis Core.

    In my fit of fury I went to the web, looking for a place to complain not only about the lack of gaming knowledge but the lack of linguistic theory knowledge as well. The reason I settled here is two-fold: (a) You showed me the horrors of this series, where true academic research is trivialized into juvenile theory, and (b) I see you work at LGCC, and I, too, am part of the CUNY system (first-year MA in English Literature student at Queens College). Not only is it refreshing to see actual academic pursuits in pop culture (particularly gaming), but to see it come from CUNY.

    I’m glad you stayed true to your scholarship and didn’t “sell out.” I hope you either have, or will have, this published somewhere else.

  5. Kudos sir, on not selling out. While the topic of philosophy in these pop elements of society fascinate me, what is the purpose if you are forced to tag garbage on along with your name. I actually plan on referencing your paper in an upcoming project of mine. Keep up the good work.

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