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October 29, 2007


tim harrap

Yes I think they are changing but it is becoming an existential question for people. If you have ever read Erich Fromm's book "To have or to be" you will note even from the title the debate about the essence of being. Do you continue to grab "material things" - to have - [will it really satisfy you?] or do you recognise the more important element of existence, simply- to be. Talk about consciousness raising!! See also my comment about "ataraxy".

This question is central to the current debate on this blog item. Yes you may become the hero but you also recognise that to achieve successful ends you often have to share activities to achieve your goals. You are not the sole being but part of a community. If you begin to be seen as a "grabby" I must have, your "community" should in theory (!) pull you up short.

Jeff Conner

The issue of having and being is, to me, aside from Gen-C losing the ability to process complex narratives that do not feature the participant as the hero. Being the hero doesn't mean that you can't work with others and be a good community participant. The story just shifts from "this is me defeating evil" to "this is me working with others to defeat evil" (or some other goal). It's certainly not "this me enjoying a piece of great literature that isn't about me."

As I noted, culture survives on its narratives. If those narratives become truncated, then culture itself is at risk.

Lynn Winters

I was amazed when I realized the extent that this "role playing" activity has swept the current generation. I think it is great that it is a step away from computer and video games and requires the participants to exercise their imagination and focus on the game. However, how anyone can do this for a period of 12 hours without stopping is beyond me. We played cops and robbber, and cowboys and indians making up our scripts as we went along, but only for a few hours in an afternoon, not all night sessions. That is when it has become another addiction. Good or bad for the growth of our youth, their minds and futures. Only time will tell.

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