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Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The Ultimate Walkthrough Paperback – October 12, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470415368 ISBN-10: 9780470415368 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780470415368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470415368
  • ASIN: 0470415363
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Final Fantasy is one of the greatest video game franchises of all time, and its universe is packed with compelling characters and incredible storylines. With this book, you'll be able to apply the wisdom of centuries of philosophy to any game in the series, including Final Fantasy XIII. Everything you'll need to achieve a greater understanding of Final Fantasy is here. As Mages, Moogles, fiends, and Kefka are mashed together with the likes of Machiavelli, Marx, Foucault, and Kafka, you'll delve into crucial topics such as madness, nihilism, environmental ethics, Shintoism, the purpose of life, and much more. And of course, your intellectual status will be forever changed upon reading this book.

Guaranteed to add a new dimension to your understanding of the Final Fantasy universe, this book is the ultimate companion to the ultimate video game series.

About the Author

Jason P. Blahuta is an associate professor of philosophy at Lakehead University and has contributed to Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy and Terminator and Philosophy.

Michel S. Beaulieu is an assistant professor of history at Lakehead University.

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with interests in both philosophy and Final Fantasy.
Amazon Customer
For this, I would recommend the book for anybody that has played the games so that it can help you think about aspects of the games in philosophical ways.
BlitzSage
Likewise, if you are well-versed in philosophy, you may find this book to be a bit too dumbed down or even irreverent.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa B. Goss on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amusing at times. I was annoyed by the condescending attitude of some the chapters. Most of the concepts mentioned in the book are ones commonly held by fans to begin with. The main usefulness of the text was in aiding me to understand some aspects of Hume's and Kant's philosophies better.

I can't say how accurate the philosophical information is, being less well-versed on the subject, but accusations of inaccuracy regarding Final Fantasy games is correct. There's one long essay where the authors apparently didn't know that FFVII and FFVIII are different games. Cloud, Seifer, Aeris and Sephrioth are all described together as having come from the same game. I think they're describing Squall when they talk about Cloud but it's hard to tell.

I think if you're going to print an essay and receive payment for it you should at least be familiar enough with the work you're discussing to identify the main characters correctly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BlitzSage on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Pop Culture and Philosophy series is useful for anyone wishing to apply philosophy into books, movies, tv shows and games by giving introductory philosophy. For this, I would recommend the book for anybody that has played the games so that it can help you think about aspects of the games in philosophical ways. For instance, the chapter about Kefka's insanity might make you view him differently as a character. You also will look at Wutai in a different light, and many other things in this book will help. I recommend it rather highly.

However, you do get what you pay for. It is a book on pop culture, which implies in the name, popularity. That means that most of you familiar with games that do not have the number 7 behind them will get a little tired of hearing FFVII mentioned all the time. And as other people have mentioned, there are some inaccuracies. But I think it's ultimately tolerable. If you buy it it will help you bridge connections between philosophical thought and a series you love. I recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Digiordano on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is definitely a fun read, and also a very quick read. For those who are used to reading philosophy or professional works on cultural studies, this comes across as very light reading. I would imagine for those who are unfamiliar, it is a pretty accessible approach to some philosophical ideas in a very user friendly context. Despite some of my complaints, i generally enjoyed this text. However, I think in some ways, this is both a benefit as well as one of the downfalls of the text. If you are used to reading philosophy/professional criticism, some of the articles come across as being fairly juvenile, in the sense that I feel like there are a few articles that seem like there were written just to talk about final fantasy and philosophy but that the process was something like, "hmmm..., let's see, what philosopher do i want to talk about? How about (insert name)." and then they proceed to simply pick a final fantasy work and glue the two together in a somewhat mediocre kind of way. Also I think that some of the writers had great ideas, but lacked stylistically. Also, such articles such as the one on Roland Barthes and readerly versus writerly text has far more leanings towards literary theory than it does philosophy, apart from being extremely repetitive and not very mature in style.

On the positive side, i think that there was a strong slant towards existential thought, which I think is very fitting for the final fantasy series, especially in the cases of final fantasy 6, 7, and 9. These were overall well presented and very fitting, as the ideas of filling the void by creating an authentic existence, nietzsche's "death of god", etc. are some of the strongest topics in these games.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. G GREENE on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, and so when I saw this little book sitting on the shelf I just simply had to pick it up. I originally thought that this was going to be a joke book judging by the pictures of the philosophers dressed as moogles on the front and the tag lines on the back such as: "Does Cloud really exist (or should we really care)?" and "Are Moogles part of a socialist conspiracy?" However, this book is actually at its best when the chapters take Final Fantasy extremely seriously and go in depth into the stories of the various games. What spoils the fun a bit are a few chapters that use Final Fantasy as a gimmick to talk about things that have little to do with the games themselves. If you are willing to suffer through a few bad chapters, the good chapters will at the very least provide some new things to think about for some of the best Final Fantasy games that may just help you see these stories in an all new light.

The book is split up into 5 parts with 2-3 essays in each, and each essay is written by a different author. The book therefore lacks a cohesive structure and feels more like a grab bag of topics taken from various games. The games are not given equal treatment either. Many of the essays focus on Final Fantasy VII, and the newer Playstation-era games in general are favored in the discussions over others. The Final Fantasy games 1-5 get practically no serious discussion at all. If you expected a book that would systematically go game by game and breakdown the philosophical ideas behind each then well, it's not like that for most of the games (except maybe for Final Fantasy VII). This book was written by American gamers/philosophers, and it shows.
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Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The Ultimate Walkthrough
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