Monday, March 21, 2016

Event Horizon Blues

One of the many negative aspects of cancer recovery is the knowledge that I'm just not ready for prime time. A major tumor, like the one that was in the side of my face, killing it takes a lot out of the body. I'm walking back from it, but the progress is very, very slow.

To keep my mind alive, almost every waking moment of every day is filled with study - even if it doesn't look like "studying." I've been examining Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, the Sith Lords in detail over the last few days, playing the game a little, watching gameplay youtubes, and generally applying the analytic skills I honed in graduate school to a video game.

Why is this game so popular? It was broken and incomplete when released. It took a team of dedicated modders years to fix. Yet it still has problems. So...why? Three reasons. It's great fiction, taken not as an RPG, but as a kind of interactive novel, KOTOR 2 is a wonderful adventure. It is in many ways what Tolkien's books are to the Lord of the Rings franchise, the foundation stones. It has everything Tolkien's books have.

1. It is, in John Gardner's expression, moral fiction. Moral fiction  "attempts to test human values, not for the purpose of preaching or peddling a particular ideology, but in a truly honest and open-minded effort to find out which best promotes human fulfillment." Read Gardner's book back around 1979. It had a profound impact on me. Lost his books in the 2007 Greensburg Tornado.

2. The writing is vibrant and alive, with powerfully realized characters.

3. The story revolves around an epic journey by the protagonist and her allies in search of a great evil that is supernatural and at the same time all-too-human.

So that's one thing I've been doing. I try to write a little each day. I read. Today I've been reading about the Holographic Principle. It inspired today's meme.

Please, don't forget to help out if you can.