Open Culture, November 12th, 2014
You thought video games were a waste of time? Well, think again. These 8-bit video games can teach you philosophy. Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Derrida and the rest. Created by Napkin Note Productions, 8-Bit Philosophy attempts to “communicate even the most complex of philosophical concepts in a fun, easy-to-understand way.”
Launched in April, the series now features 15 episodes. The very first one used the 1986 Nintendo game Zelda to unpack Plato’s concept of the Real. Later episodes grappled with Hegel’s concept of history; Sartre’s notion of freedom; and Nietzsche’s thoughts on the limits of science.
The most recent episode explores the philosophy of Jacques Derrida using scenes from the 1987 beat’ em up video game, Double Dragon. Does that game ring a bell? It didn’t for me either. Until I googled it and suddenly remembered wasting countless hours and quarters on it, almost three decades ago. It’s all coming back to me now.
You can watch all 15 episodes of 8-Bit Philosophy on YouTube.