Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

March 6, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds

Is Commander Shepard Female? Determining Canon in Video Games

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.

September 30, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds

Jesse Prinz on Magritte (artbullion)

Over at artbouillon, Jesse Prinz has a nice piece Magritte’s place in the Surrealist narrative (prompted by the new exhibition at MoMA). I have to say that I’m hugely sympathetic with Prinz’s call for Magritte’s excision from the Surrealist canon. For one, I’ve never fully understood the pull Surrealism has for so many, as I see the movement itself to be a lateral if not frustrating step backward in the history of 20th century visual art and most works of its “Masters” (especially Ernst, Tanguy, and Dali) little more than crude exercises in artistic juvenilia. Second, I find most of Magritte’s work to be intellectually playful and philosophically astute in ways few if any of his supposed Surrealist kin could hope to be and so, perhaps unsurprisingly, regard the less than impressive examples of Magritte’s work as invariably those commonly taken to exemplify the Surrealist spirit, the most notable of which being Le Viol (The … Continue reading