I first heard about The Legend and Philosophy several months ago and I immediately thought something along the lines of “Holy Sheik, that’s awesome!” I mean how could I, the guy with a Legend of Zelda tattoo on his left calf, not be super excited for something like this?
So what exactly is The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy? Hmm… chances are that it’s a philosophical exploration of The Legend of Zelda. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. Editor Luke Cuddy gathered several writings from respected philosophical minds that were tied to Zelda and it’s ideals and brought them all together into this one book subtitled “I Link, Therefore I Am.”
First off let me apologize for this review taking so long to get out. You see, I have this problem with reading all the way through a book without stopping right in the middle for a long hiatus of procrastination. I know I promised this would be our first book review a few months ago, but Patricker beat me to it with his Twilight and New Moon reviews and I was ousted again by World 1-1’s Kyle when he decided to submit guest reviews on a couple of Batman graphic novels.
The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy is an extremely well brought together compilation of writings by several well-respected individuals in the world of modern philosophy. The book attempts to tackle the immensely popular and nearly perfect Zelda games from several philosophical standpoints such as likening the game to the real world, exploring Link’s role as no more than an avatar but possibly more, looking at Zelda as a work of fiction, and relating death and religion to the popular series. It makes the perfect edition to the personal library of any geek/gamer or budding philosopher and makes for an excellent conversation piece between two fanatics or collectors.
Alright, so it’s an awesome material posession, but will you learn anything from reading it? While it’s true that the book is full of philosophical knowledge and well though-out comparisons to help you understand more about how to think philosophically, you will learn only one thing; how to think. After reading this book and thinking back to my past Zelda experiences I feel even more connected to Link than I already did, a feat which seemed impossible at one point in time.
As far as entertainment value goes, if you are the demographic this book aims towards then you will love it. There are many, many Zelda fanboys out there who would love nothing more than to hold this in their hands taking every ounce of philosophical feedback into their mind which is constantly turning out its own thoughts on how the game relates to life’s deepest unanswered questions. And there are also gamers in general who can find vast amounts of enjoyment within the pages of this compilation. Whether it be a veteran who wants to reassess his roots or a fledgling newbie raised so far on Wii Fit who wants to deepen her new hobby and take it to far more enjoyable levels, this book can help you do it.
But this book goes deeper than the game world. Reading this also helped me develop a new outlook on life. Teaching me new and unique ways to think about everything from teleporting to immortality, The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy has introduced me to a new world which I was once only slightly interested in through the magic of gaming. I now look at problems from different perspectives and, whenever I sit down with my best friend Link, I view the land of Hyrule with far more respect and passion than I had ever thought possible.
The book spans 255 pages of content split through 9 levels with numerous sub-groups.
The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy is both a gamer’s and a thinker’s masterpiece. The ultimate collection of philosphical thought related to one of gaming’s biggest legends, this book succeeds in everything it set out to do. Whether you’re a gamer or thinker, The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy: I Link Therefore I Am is a must-read.
- Wonderful addition to any gaming collection
- Brings together both thinkers and geeks
- You’ll feel like you’ve really learned something after reading
- Has a few dry spells
- Wasn’t thought of sooner
Overall: 9.3/10 (Amazing, a must read)
Concept: 9.5/10 (Bring both philosophy and gaming together in one book)
Execution: 9.5/10 (Several contributors with several beliefs offering their views and opinions)
Entertainment Value: 9.0/10 (Very few dry spots, but they’re there none-the-less)