Level Up Your Theory Skills with New Course on Video Games and Critical Theory

mario critical theory

Walter Benjamin once wrote that the “angel of history” perceived time as “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.” As it turns out, Benjamin was actually just recovering from a week-long Angry Birds bender.

Enter the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. A sort-of casual environment for us grown-ups to continue our educations, the Brooklyn Institute digging into Plato in while enjoying a beer in a Brooklyn bar. Bonus points for you, Brooklyn Institute. They’re now offering a class titled “‘Better than Real Life’: Towards a Critical Theory of Video Games” beginning January 11, 2014.

Readings will include Plato, Kant, Benjamin, Schiller, Haraway, Habermas, Hansen, Weber, Auerbach, Butler, Schechner, Baudelaire, Berlant, Buck-Morss, Brennan, Horkheimer, De Duve.

It seems like Derrida and Minecraft are missing, however. But then again, if you deconstruct minecraft, doesn’t that just bring you back to the beginning?

The class will take a look at classics like Super Mario Bros, Bioshock, Portal Katamari Damacy (isn’t Katamari just a metaphor for capitalist accumulation, which will one day consume roll up the earth?) and more.

For those in the NYC area, this class will set you back $300, but it seems like a bargain in comparison to some $50,000/year alternatives.

Get more info here.


beyond good evil pun