008 This is the Way
the World Ends
Kierkegaard and the
Crisis of Our Present Age
In this video we raise the question of whether or not our present age is in a state of crisis. In order to do this, we employ the lens of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and his reflections from the work "Two Ages." Our argument is that our Western culture has indeed fallen into a certain form of crisis that is tied to the loss of a shared ideal towards which we passionately strive together in unity. The result of the loss of ideality and passion is that we turn inward in conflict with one another. In response, we suggest fostering a new ideal, namely that of radical civility.
001 Emotional Armies
On the Interrelation of Reason and Emotion in Army Selection
In this essay we ask the question of what exactly informs the decision we make when we dedicate ourselves to playing a particular army. In contrast to views that say such decisions are either random or entirely rational, we argue that within such a decision is an important emotional component. In making this argument, we discuss the interrelation of reason and emotion as presented by Antonio Damasio in his book "Descartes' Error" after which we apply this discussion to the phenomenon of army selection.
On the Gambler's Fallacy, Confirmation Bias, and the Case of Mini War Gaming's Quirk
In this video we take up the issue of the curse of the dice rolls in wargaming. Although most of us who go through a rolling drought do not literally think that we have a curse hanging over us, many of us do believe that there is nevertheless some force of probability working against us. In this essay, we argue that what we attribute to a curse is instead in many cases the product of two fallacious manners of thinking: the gambler's fallacy and confirmation bias. After developing each of these notions in turn, we look to the case of Mini War Gaming's Quirk and his apparent curse of bad rolls. In relation to this example, we carry out some statistical analysis as well as make several remarks concerning probability and human psychology.
005 Seeing As a Terrain Builder
On Perception, Existence, and Wargaming Terrain Construction
In this video we offer an analysis of the phenomenon of seeing as a terrain builder that we argue is a clear example of the manner by which perception and existence are intimiately intertwined. To begin, we take up the theory of perception developed by 17th century English thinker Thomas Hobbes, after which we outline an alternative account put forward by 20th century Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Having laid this foundation, we turn to wargaming terrain construction and argue that seeing within this particular existential mode radically transforms the manner by which one perceives the world.
002 Where Are the Women Wargamers?
On Male Normativity, Exemplars, and Gender Inclusivity in Wargaming
In this video we raise the question, "Where are the women wargamers?" and we attempt to provide a diagnosis and analysis of the reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in wargaming. In developing our argument we focus in on what we suggest are two crucial components underlying this issue: first, the exclusionary male normativity at play in fantasy gaming, and second, the paucity of female exemplars within the hobby. Our claim is that this two-fold dynamic reinforces the unfortunate narrative that the wargaming universe is for the most part not a place for girls and women. Ultimately, this leaves the hobby far less vibrant than it would otherwise be were gender inclusivity to be fully embraced.
Musings of a Philogamer Essays