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The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy: I Link Therefore I Am (Popular Culture and Philosophy Book 36) [Kindle Edition]

Luke Cuddy
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $21.95
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Book Description

With both young and adult gamers as loyal fans, The Legend of Zelda is one of the most beloved video game series ever created. The contributors to this volume consider the following questions and more: What is the nature of the gamer’s connection to Link? Does Link have a will, or do gamers project their wills onto him? How does the gamer experience the game? Do the rules of logic apply in the game world? How is space created and distributed in Hyrule (the fictional land in which the game takes place)? How does time function? Is Zelda art? Can Hyrule be seen as an ideal society? Can the game be enjoyable without winning? The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy not only appeals to Zelda fans and philosophers but also puts video games on the philosophical map as a serious area of study.

Editorial Reviews


If you're a Zelda theorist, chances are you already have this book or plan to run out and buy it. If you're just dipping your feet into Zelda at a higher level of thought, The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy offers a great starting point with interesting insights into both Zelda and gaming as a whole.... A true Zelda fan shouldn't be without it. -, March 27, 2009

Product Details

  • File Size: 1000 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812696549
  • Publisher: Open Court (November 1, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S3RL7Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,821 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 129 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let's Play Money-Making Game February 19, 2009
This book is lame and embarrassing. It's a collection of banal undergraduate-quality essays that shoehorns entry-level philosophy into the Legend of Zelda universe, often with no justification. Worse, many of the essays take concepts of video games in general and make their points, using only the Legend of Zelda as a tangential example, which makes them irrelevant in this book, i.e. a whole essay devoted to basic logical fallacies (ch. 3). Gee thanks for that. I didn't know what a slippery slope was and decided to consult this very book in order to learn about it.

The typographical errors that saturate this book are just appalling, and deserve no further remark. Well, some are hilarious though, like "Zeldac universe" (p. 76).

I'm paging through this looking for egregious examples of what makes this book such a disappointment; there are so many. Here's the opening to one of the essays: "I have a confession to make. I don't finish what I start. Specifically, the Zelda games I start" (p. 45). I'm sorry? What then exactly makes you qualified to write about them?!

There's a section on the "controversial" chronology of the Zelda games that I found particularly ridiculous. Sorry, I did not pay to read some 13-year-old's half-baked theory lifted straight from a random online forum, every mangled word faithfully replicated.

There's a lot to complain about here, but ultimately there's no real need even to consider this forgettable volume. All I wanted in this book was a collection of essays written by die hard Zelda fans first, philosophy enthusiasts second.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By raficus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Seeing as how I like to read in my spare time, I thought I'd post some short reviews of the books I complete.

Just last night I finally got around to finishing Luke Cuddy's The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy. This was my first foray into the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series, which also includes the likes of The Simpsons, Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy, House, and plenty others.

The general format of these books are sections organized by topic. The authors explore basic ideas such as the general mythology, timeline, and free will, while tackling some more complex ones including the link between reality and Hyrule, Zelda's feminism, and the existence of God & evil. Within each section are chapters, each consisting of an essay published by a professor at an American university (so you can presume they're not just BSing you). The essays themselves are well-organized, and the content of certain ones were more appealing than others.

In general, the concepts were accessible and well-explained. Yes, there were ideas that seemed a bit far-fetched, as if the authors were looking too much into it, but that's to be expected when you philosophize about playing video games. However, as a whole it does make a valid case about the presence and prevalence of role-playing games in modern society, and I did get something out of it.

In terms of representation of the series, I'd say most of them were addressed, especially in the chapter that focuses on the timeline. I'm not sure I agree with focusing on The Wind Waker so much in the opening chapter was the right decision, since the author made it seem like the quintessential Zelda game (when A Link to the Past and The Ocarina of Time have set more of a precedent and are more widely known).
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect names February 8, 2010
I was considering buying this book, but when I read the "Look Inside" preview, I became a little wary of it. In the very first chapter, the author incorrectly calls "Outset Island" by the name "Outcast Island". And since it's used repeatedly, I know it's not a typo. If you're going to write a book on the philosophical aspects of a well-loved video game series, you should at least get the names correct. I gave it two stars for poor fact checking and editing, but I'm a huge Zelda fan, so I still may end up buying it anyway, if only to see how many more errors the authors make!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to do with Zelda October 23, 2014
John Grusd's review hit the nail on the head. This book is a joke and a waste of time. All of the essays in this book are just vague philosophical ideas that are generalized towards video games and "gamers" and then use The Legend of Zelda as an example to justify their claims. It has nothing worthwhile to say about the Zelda universe.

I was expecting topics like "The ethics of time travel" or "The Skull Kid's motivations".

The fact that one essay debates the Zelda time line while citing an internet forum post as if it was a legitimate source shows the shoddy effort and research that went into this book.

If you want to read a bunch of undergrad essays about video games, be my guest, but if you want to read something that is thought-provoking about the Zelda universe, then I suggest you look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Buy for Zelda Fans December 10, 2012
By Fop626
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I brought this book for my boyfriend since he absolutely loved it when I brought him Zelda and Theology. I haven't read the book myself, but I have skimmed through a few essays in the book and it seems very insightful. You will learn something new everytime you read an essay from this book. My boyfriend will use this book (as well as the theology one) to help him write better essays about video games in grad school. But if you are a simple Zelda fan, then I still think this book is a great buy at a great Amazon price. Zelda fans will both love to learn something new and interesting as well as show off to their other Zelda friends what they've learned just by reading this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Mostly Zelda fan theory information. Little philosophy is actually discussed. Quite disappointing.
Published 2 months ago by commandereagle2
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
made a great gift for Zelda fan who 'had everything'
Published 3 months ago by Doran Carrier
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a Zelda fan you should buy it!!!!
Amazing book, a great way to relate philosophy with popular culture
Published 5 months ago by Ricardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting - not quite what I was hoping for.
As a Theology and Philosophy major I was very interested in reading this. I was hoping it would really look at the underlying philosophies within the Zelda series (like the Zelda... Read more
Published 13 months ago by cldsk
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomest philosophy/ pop culture book ever
This is not meant to be an in-depth, exhaustive analysis of either Zelda or of philosophy. I see it more as a fun, encyclopedic-type intro to some philosophical concepts using... Read more
Published 20 months ago by rif
3.0 out of 5 stars Hur...
Well.... There are lots of spelling errors and mistakes. As a Zelda fan i can say i found that slightly irksome but the book still does provide some interest. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
I'm still reading, but I'm loving it. The prospect of a game as wonderful as the Zelda series, gives the players a greater way to enjoy this entertainment. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gustavo Gomes
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Very Informative and zelda like!! Goes into Depth from older games through the new ones! It is a very good read!
Published 24 months ago by joel brewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird.
Sometimes I get lost and need to know where to go... Lol. This book is full of interesting relationship between the education behind philosophy and the Legend of Zelda. Read more
Published on March 20, 2013 by David Michael Williamson
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my husband
A huge Zelda fan, He definitely loves this book as far as he has read into it! Just hoping it doesn't take a sudden downhill turn.
Published on February 28, 2013 by Stephanie K
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Topic From this Discussion
What do you think of zelda?
Well, the games have the same concept (disaster strikes a peaceful land and Link saves the day and the damsel in distress) but they all have different angles to it. To me, the different spins on the main story that each game have are very compelling. Enthralling fight sequences, great script,... Read More
Dec 1, 2011 by H. Negron |  See all 2 posts
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