How to write science fiction & fantasy - part three | Damien Walter | Skillshare

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How to write science fiction & fantasy - part three

teacher avatar Damien Walter, Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 33m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:31
    • 2. Why does Star Wars get worse and worser?

      25:37
    • 3. The limits of human potential

      19:59
    • 4. The Hero's Journey...

      12:51
    • 5. ...and writing beyond the Hero's Journey

      19:39
    • 6. Vervaeke Interview 1 - Is nerd culture mere escapism

      8:50
    • 7. Vervaeke Interview 2 - The Transcendence of Escapism

      4:07
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About This Class

Why is Star Wars so very, very popular?

And why do the Star Wars movies get worse, worse...and worser?

If it's true that good artists borrow, but great artists steal, then George Lucas must be one of the greatest. Star Wars steals the myth of galactic empire from Isaac Asimov, and the Hero's Journey from Joseph Campbell. Together then made Star Wars a massive success.

But as the Star Wars films went on they got worse, worse and worser. Understanding why is essential for any storyteller working on epic sci-fi.

The third talk + workshop in Advanced Sci-fi & Fantasy : writing the 21st century myth, explore the storytelling power of the Hero's Journey, and techniques to go beyond it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Damien Walter

Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.

Teacher

Damien Walter ( BA / MA / PGCHE / HEA) teaches good writers how to be great. His research and critical writing have been published in The Guardian, Wired, BBC, The Independent, Aeon and with Oxford University Press. He is a former director of creative writing at the University of Leicester, a member of the Higher Education Academy, and a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop taught by Neil Gaiman. He consults widely for businesses in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing to help them tell great stories.

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Good afternoon. Welcome to the beautiful island of Bali on a sweltering hot day. So I apologize if I'm a little bit of a sweaty mess. During the course of this workshop. We are here for the third workshop in advanced science fiction and fantasy writing, the 21st century meth. And today we are looking at Star Wars and specifically the hero's journey of Joseph Campbell, which in the introductory talk we shall see is the core of the success of the first Star Wars movie and also the weakness of the later movies. For those of you who do indeed believe that the latest Star Wars films as somehow less successful and storytelling the new original trilogy. And because of this, we are looking not just at the hero's journey, but how to go beyond the hero's journey? How to expand on the story structure that the mythologist Joseph Campbell laid out to tell epic stories. 2. Why does Star Wars get worse and worser?: There are a lot of very, very good reasons to love Star Wars. It takes you to a galaxy far, far away and it shows it to you and wonderful detail using special effects that are even now 40 years later. Quite wonderful. It fills the screen with a cost of beautiful, talented actors. What is there to say against a screen full of Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford? Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford. Then there's the music, the music of John Williams and particularly the themes Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker. These are Beethovenian, they are Mozart. That they are the closest in the mobile era of musical composition and they belong to the movie Star Wars. I can. And one day we'll make a credible argument that the eighties, hi Brian, era of cinema blockbusters in which we are still living today. More like pop videos for the wonderful music of John Williams, Vandellas, basil Apollodorus, and Hans Zimmer. But back to the greatness of Star Wars, the fin that makes Star Wars great is not special effects, is not the cost, is not. The music. Although these things are truly exceptional is the story. If you go to the most important department in any Hollywood studio, it does not say special effects department. On the door. It says the story. Department installs, creates an amazing story. There is a powerful, arguably the most powerful myth of the 20th century. And by myth, I do not mean an untrue story that was made up some long time ago. I mean, a story that shows us the world in some way that we come up plenty, say it with our eyes or other senses. But while the Star Wars movies get better and better special effects, whilst the music of John Williams is wonderfully reprised to rescue the slightly dodgy sequels that Disney rebooted. But while the beauty of the cost and the quality of the acting with a very notable exception gets better and better. One thing about the Star Wars movies just gets worse and worse. And that is the story, the father, the Star Wars movies get from the original story. The worser and worser. They get. Y. Let's get forensic on George Lucas, shall we? If it's true that Amaterasu borrow and great artists steal than George Lucas is surely one of the greatest artists of our row because he stole from whole cloth many of the great ideas of science fiction to make Star Wars like a greedy magpie, George Lucas flew over the landscape of modern storytelling and picked up two glittering jewels of contemporary myth-making, flew back to his tray and stitch them into the nest that he's been hiding in ever since. What were these crown jewels of 20th Century myth craft one, Let's talk about Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov wrote some 260 books by works of fiction and nonfiction in novels and stories and every single one, although I've only read a small proportion. What works of genius? A long-wave office he caught on Robert hind-limb. Isaac Asimov was one of the free greats of the golden age of science fiction. Writing. An arguably did more than any other individual to create the science fiction genre that we know today. But he was also by the documented accounts and those who knew him well at the height of his career. Growth and women. And Asimov's stories are seen through. The male gaze, and it seems clear that the male gaze and hands also followed as a morph into his daily life. I'm not here to offer any defense. But here's the thing. If I wanted to teach you physics. But it was apparent that Albert Einstein in public places in front of other people. If I wanted to talk to you about the tenants of social justice. But it was clear that Mahatma Gandhi did nasty fangs, too small, furry animals. I would still had to teach you very relativity and the basic principles of nonviolent resistance. People suck. They're also great. Sometimes many of the greatest people rule set and most sucky. Isaac Asimov sucked because he was a groping. Isaac Asimov was great because he kind of invented the galaxy as we know it, through hybrid spacing like nothing crop point. For my calculations, we fly right through supernovae minute and your probe real quick, what do you think about it? It's not so long ago. Everyone in the world fought. The heavens were crystal spheres upon which the planets were pinned by the hand of God. Then modern sciences came along and they showed us an ever vast universe of planets, stars, galaxies, and black holes. But to really understand that universe, to weave it together into a meaningful whole required storytellers, myth makers, and science fiction writers. If you've never read it, pick up OLAP stapled Anne's stomach. It's one of the very first works of literature to imagine a journey across the galaxy, visiting alien planets and ultimate civilizations. And finally, arriving face-to-face with the maker of the stores. The storm makeup. Wild roster of sci-fi offers many now legendary and many more. Now forgotten. Collaborated on creating the mythology that we think of as space today. One science fiction writer did arguably more than any other to create the galaxy as we know it. And that writer was Isaac Asimov, the idea that we could travel across space and starships miles long. Isaac Asimov, the idea that those starships would leap in hyper space, jumps from star to star. Isaac Asimov, that humanity would colonize the galaxy and create a galactic empire. Isaac Asimov, the idea that splinters about empire is it collapse would form civilizations at different levels and engage each other in warfare. Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov didn't just define all mythic vision of the galaxy. He used it as a backdrop for detailed meditation on the evolution of human politics and society. The foundation saga charts the foal of the galactic empire on the rise of a new foundation, a new human civilization based on the pure principles of engineering, technology, and science. But then adam of goes a step further, not enough to show the rise of a purely rational scientific society. For Isaac Asimov, the ultimate science was not the science or the physical world physics, but the science of the mind and our mental powers, psychology. The second foundation is the society that rises up to eclipse the scientific world and as a society based on psychic powers and the mental force. The Star Wars movies or one day Rhett cond, as Isaac Asimov's Star Wars. It will only begin to recognize the huge debt that Star Wars and George Lucas, O, to the field of science fiction. George Lucas took the mythic fabric of space itself as imagined by generations of science fiction offers. And from it, he made Star Wars. But full the pattern of his story. He needed another of the glittering gems of modern math craft. Number to imagine a legend dream map showing you a path across the galaxy. And this map has been broken and it's pieces scattered across space and time. Now imagine a wise old man who discovers, while part of this lost map. Not wise old man, was Joseph Campbell. The relationship between George Lucas's Star Wars and Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. He's well-documented. But for those of you who missed it, here it is. Joseph Campbell was an academic mythologist. He had studied all of the great myths of human civilizations throughout history from the ancient Sumerians and the Babylonians to the great Egyptian civilizations through to early Christianity and the development of the Bible and the biblical myths and many more. Besides. In those myths, Joseph Campbell believed that he had found a single monomyth. The pattern of one story that had been told over and over again across human civilizations. He called that story the hero's journey. Campbell's theory became well-known amongst the screenwriters and directors of 1970s. Hollywood. Became known to a young George Lucas who used it step-by-step, beat by beat to rewrite the script of a struggling sci-fi movie. But he was committed to making phase Studio. Q. I painstakingly edited montage of Star Wars versus the hero's journey. Does a movie like Star Wars fill some of that need for the spiritual adventure, for the hero board. Perfect, that does the cycle perfectly. It's not simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life and their inflection through the action. One of the wonderful things I think about this venture into space that the narrator, the artist, the one thinking up the story, is in a field that is not covered by our own knowledges. Do you, when you look at something like Star Wars, recognize some of the themes of the heroes. Mythology. Well, I think that George Lucas was using standard mythological figures. Luke begins in the known world, the family farm on tattooing, where he receives the call to adventure, which he as all young heroes should refuse it. Getting you into his meeting with the mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, who provides supernaturally and leaves the young heroin. Into the unknown world. Luke encounters a series of tests, allies and enemies on the road of trial that leads him to the meeting with the goddess. I'm Skywalker in here to rescue him into the belly of the whale. Come from the father. Luke must face the supreme or deal, take the magic flight into the desktop, trench, experience rescue from without as the Millennium Falcon zoomed. The movies climax, achieve a puppy upsets like returning heroes, the rebellion. I do new Jedi. Knight. Campbell's theory of the hero's journey works. That's Hollywood would demonstrate by using it the blueprint of a string of hit blockbuster movies over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Even if you've never heard of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, you can almost certainly recount it stages from hot, simply from having seen them repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. In Hollywood movies. Why the hero's journey is arguable. Some people will tell you that it's simply a matter of repetition that we have now seen so many Hollywood blockbusters with this structure that we expected. Those people are wrong. Some people will tell you that it doesn't work, that these films are successful because of marketing budgets and soundtracks and beautiful costs. Those people wrong. Joseph Campbell's fascination with mythology was born from his identity as a devout Catholic. In fact, Joseph Campbell quit the Catholic Church just self to the Vatican to reforms that slightly liberal Catholicism for the church, not being careful enough, central to the Catholic faith at its very heart and core is the belief that human beings have a divine higher potential. This is why Catholicism is really down on sinning. Because sitting is just missing the point of your life. You're supposed to be working towards your divine higher identity. As a heroine. Jo Campbell, the devout Catholic, went out and studied all of the world's great mythological tales to try and find the map, the PAF, for how human beings can fulfill a highest potential. How we can become heroes, hence, the Hero's Journey. This is a hard idea for us to accept, right? I mean, most of us aren't capitalists when not religious, although we might be spiritual but not religious, which is kind of being religious really. We don't believe the old made-up stories called myths have anything to teach us. And yet we go to the sacred temple of the cinema. We sit in darkness and gaze up in as the archetype or characters derived from all of the welds. Ancient myths are projected before our eyes. We go and we watched Star Wars and are millions and billions. And we love it. Why would jokingly told? In every census of modern populations for the last four decades, the Jedi is the fastest growing religion anybody who's been to a comical and seeing the thousands of fans dressed from head to toe in the costumes left favorite characters can see the religious fervor that we have around this mythic story. While I imagine that stories maps to the lives that we could be living. The hero's journey as theorized by Joseph Campbell, as put onto film installs by George Lucas, is showing us pathway to our higher human potential. And when we say it on the screen, we recognize it with our brains. We feel it in a hot. We want to see that story told over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. So y then the first Star Wars movie, something like a sacred story, a spiritual map to our highest human potential. Y, to the other Star Wars movies just get worse and worse and worse. If you take the archetypical story, Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Detonator, wrapped in explosive materials. At the Imagine the fabric of space and time. Generation of science fiction had a big budget and some Harrison Ford and let it explode. That's one towards lupus did stylers. That's my stylus is so great. The problem is when you try and repeat this process, George Lucas borrowed the fabric of Star Wars from Isaac Asimov's Foundation saga, and dozens of other works of science fiction. But what he didn't take from Asimov's Foundation was the complex political and social arcs of development. The foundation saga is really at its core about, and instead install wars, you're left with a childish lease and plastic conflict between light and dark, good and evil, Jedi and CIF, Republic, Empire, Rebellion and first-order. And it's just the same very simple idea repeated again and again and again in movie after moving. Here's the thing. Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey is just one stage. The full journey of the hero. The hero's journey is just one among many kinds of journey that could take us to a kind of higher human potential. But in the first Star Wars movie, George Lucas use the hero's journey as a blueprint. He choked out and beat by beat, told his story around it. That made a very successful movie. The Empire Strikes Back. Play it out. Some of the darker elements of the hero's journey that have been compressed into the final fight, install Wallace, and it made probably the best Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. I looked at the trilogy as one complete cycle of the Hero's Journey. And they made free complete movies that are all kind of work, that really great. Then you get to the preschools and the pre-course did something intelligent. They said, We want to follow the father of the hero. This is what we do in mythic stories very often think about king off. The story stops with UFA pen dragon, the foal of a propene dragon, which then leads to the heroic rise of Teng offer. And we're gonna do this OK. The prequel movies we're gonna follow on and can Skywalker is this fold into Darth Vader? Instead of finding these new parts of the Hero's Journey, George Lucas just uses the same blueprint of Joseph Campbell. It's the wrong map for this stage of the journey when not being shown the truth, the mythic story. Then in the reboots, the reboots, the reboots take the first stage of the Hero's Journey and they do it again. They remake George Lucas's Star Wars in some kind of strange postmodern way. And it kind of walks and anything original they do and it doesn't work. And it's this mix of things that do and don't work. And then in the next movie, they just do the hero's journey again. Then in February that did a hero's journey again. Because nobody involved with making any of these films, George Lucas or Kathleen Kennedy at Disney or whoever it was who directed the second movie, or JJ Abrams who was in charge of the whole thing. None of these people know the answer. None of them can see the path to the high human potential. That is what inspires us Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Well, they can do is use that blueprint that Joseph Campbell laid out and repeat it over and over and over again. The truth that we are looking for, a mythic stories that we find in Star Wars is lost. Lost, an ever more loss as the story is tied into a franchise. Produce again and again and again on the cinema screen. Simply to generate profits. 3. The limits of human potential: Good afternoon. Welcome to the beautiful island of Bali on a sweltering hot day. So I apologize if I'm a little bit of a sweaty mess. During the course of this workshop. We are here for the third workshop in advanced science fiction and fantasy writing, the 21st century myth. And today we are looking at Star Wars and specifically the hero's journey of Joseph Campbell, which in the introductory talk we shall see is the core of the success of the first Star Wars movie and also the weakness of the later movies. For those of you who do indeed believe that the latest Star Wars films as somehow less successful and storytelling the new original trilogy. And because of this, we are looking not just at the hero's journey, but how to go beyond the hero's journey? How to expand on the story structure that the mythologist Joseph Campbell laid out to tell epic stories. This is about the very largest scale possible of storytelling. And we'll come on to that in just a second. But to begin with, we're going to look at as we have been talking about in the course of this course. The eternal question that is at the heart of Star was, if you remember in our first lecture, we looked at a tunnel questions. The eternal question at the heart of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Modern Prometheus, which is the question of what is human and is a human or machine, or can we think of a human in another way? We then looked in the second workshop, Stanley Kubrick and AF c clogs 2001, a Space Odyssey. The eternal question there, what is man's place in the universe? And we also looked at the Novum, the nova and the new part of the story. And these are the techniques that we're looking out which will build up from one workshop to another. You're tonal question in 2001, man's place in the universe, the Nova, the monolith, and the heart of the story keep those two techniques in mind. As we move on to the third technique, the hero's journey. And you can see elements of the Hero's Journey and Frankenstein. You can see them in 2001. And of course, you can see the hero's journey very strongly in Star Wars. So what is the eternal question? At the heart of Star Wars? It is the question of what is humankind's highest potential? Style walls is about space. It's about a war among the stars, but mixed into this is the story arc of Luke Skywalker. And Luke's journey from a farm boy to a GI di night. And as a Jedi knight, he has craze I, God-like Powers. He's able to raid the Death Star and destroy it. And as we see in later movies, he gains psychic powers, the force to move around objects, to manipulate other people's minds, to be extremely good at light saber flighting. And were faced with this question. In our ordinary lives, what is our highest potential? And we may feel that it's not very high. Because what are we told in our day-to-day, ordinary, mundane lives, our potential is to become educated. That's good. And to build a career. Also good, have a family, good. But maybe that's the limit of what we're told to expect as our potential. But we can see people who achieve a higher potential sporting stars. There's a good example. Athletes who were able to run a sub 10 second, 100 meters, for instance, a superhuman act for many of us artists, creators, writers, storytellers indeed, who can tell stories that millions or even billions of people like George Lucas are fascinated to watch and become kind of obsessed by scientists who made great discoveries like Albert Einstein, discovering the theory of relativity and changing how we see the universe. So we can see that there is some higher potential that humans can aspire to. But it's not something that we're told how to achieve or even given the idea to achieve. And so is this one we're really attracted to stories like Star Wars because they chart out some path towards achieving a higher potential, towards becoming a hero. And this is a very deep desire in all of us that we might achieve our higher potential and become some kind of hero, especially, especially when we're children and young people. And before the hope that we might achieve such a thing as being crushed out of us by Monday in life. But if you're watching this, if you are watching a course in advanced sci-fi and fantasy and interested in writing a 21st century myth, you still probably have a belief. Or even on course to achieve some higher potential in your life. I certainly feel that I am and I hope you are as well. And this is one way to think about the hero's journey. Through the hero's journey. A reminder here. The hero's journey was laid out by Joseph Campbell, who was this unusual academic cooling and morphologist. He had spent his professional career studying the great mythologies of the world. And in that study he believed he had found a universal pattern to story they called the monomyth and the Hero's Journey. Campbell was a devout Catholic. This idea of the hero's journey came initially from the great canceling morphology, the Bible story of Jesus. And then He found it again in other mythic stories around the world, which led him to believe that this was universal, that this was a lbf and chartered a path that human beings can take to achieve that highest potential. This Ferry would've remained rarely just affair if you hadn't been picked up. Firstly by George Lucas in Star Wars and then by Hollywood generally in dozens, hundreds, possibly thousands of stories which we're told for the cinemas green for television more recently in video games as well. And so there's strong evidence that the hero's journey is certainly engaging. We are somewhat fascinated by the hero's journey. And I would put forward the idea that this is because there is some degree of truth to the Hero's Journey Into the path that it charts out for us when we're thinking about why the hero's journey might be true. It's useful to look at some of the background to what Joseph Campbell was achieving. You can pick up his book, The Hero with 1000 faces. Also his epic for volume history of Weldon mythology, the masks of God. I do believe it's called an amazing epic read in itself. Joseph Campbell was drawing on an inspired by some ideas by the world famous now legendary psychologist Carl Young. Column had been a student, was Sigmund Freud. And Young believed as well in this idea of a high human potential that he called self-actualization. And this draws on a union term, Carl Young, young medium of the self, that we have certain elements to our personality like our ego and our aid, which were charted out by Sigmund Freud. But we have, if we can find a complete self. And the journey to find not-self is the path of self actualization. You might see mirror dad, the idea of a journey or somewhat heroic journey to discover our higher self. That is in the hero's journey as charted by Joseph Campbell. And it's interesting to look at this history of the hero's journey. In union psychology, because you own said that there were different kinds of archetypal cell. One of which was the hero. What is this heroic self? And why is it archetype or well, humans, the thinking was that we are born into a world that is at its beginning, at least meaningless. We don't have an essential meaning that we come into the world with. And so we have to construct that meaning. And when we're faced with a world, with life and all of its complexity and uncertainty, with all the sufferings that we learn about as we come into the world. And we've all heard the joys and potential of the world as well. We take certain archetypal choices about how we're going to respond to life and how we are going to find meaning in our life on one of these archetypal paths is the path of the hero. So what does the hero Satan themselves? When they were young person, the hero says The way that I can find meaning in life is firstly, being a value to my community. I want to be valued by others. I want to be held as a person of high status in the eyes of others. I want to be four tiles, as it's not quite important. To be important. Suggests something for the hero there isn't, isn't quite true, is to be seen as worthwhile. As valuable. In the eyes of the people you love, the society that you're part of, that say the village that you grow up in. And so in order to find that value, the hero sees that they can excel at his skill. It's useful to think of this in a modern context. The skill could be athletics and sport. They, if you can excel at football, if you can become a Wayne Rooney or a David Beckham. If you can be so good at football, you can go out onto the pitch. And when you can be a hero football, then you're going to be held in incredibly high by your community. And you're gonna feel the meaning that you deeply desire in life. And Star Wars. This is the path that Luke is following from before we meet him on the screen where, you know, he's already a great pilot and it's going to become a great sword fighter. These are the skills of a warrior. The most common scale is that the heroin mythic storytelling will pursue. This is really essential to understand about the hero's journey. That it grows out of this desire for meaning. And that to fulfill that meaning we take so an archetypal choices to be valued in a community is one of them. And to achieve that value weeks cell as his skill. And think about Luke's journey, but the hero's journey aside for a second, just think about Star Wars. And it's all about being valued by the community, which for Luke Skywalker is the rebel alliance. If you think about the climax of the film, it's all about how value t is. By that communities come back to chairs from destroying the Death Star. And then there is a medal ceremony, or is given the highest honour of the rebellion. And he's now a hero of the rebellion is highly valued along with Chewbacca and Han Solo as well, who were also essentially heroic characters. Hands archetype is little different because there are other archetypes. Yes, there are indeed. There are other journeys apart from the hero's journey. Because there are other archetypal ways that you can derive meaning and life. Somebody other archetypes that Carl Young put forward, Young was quite clear. There wasn't clear archetypes. These little bits of a, a subtle interpretation. But later union ferrous, particularly people like Joseph Campbell who applied colleague in this in the who applied column to storytelling. You go finish my sentence. Have developed some clear archetypes. So some of these are the hero of courts that we talked about a lot. The governor, the governor also wants to be of high value to that community. But they do it in a different way. They don't accelerate his skill. Instead, they set the rules because for a society to work, it needs strong rules. And the governor is the person with the foresight and the wisdom and the strength of will to set the rules of the society. In mythic times, the governor is usually a king. In modern terms, the governor could be a political leader. Prime Minister, President could be the CEO of a corporation or a startup. The person who defines the rules of a society. The opposite of a governor. In storytelling terms, would be I have to add this to my list because they didn't put it on there. I only put a few examples on. The Rebel. We're talking about has solos archetypal journey hand solar is the archetypal rebel. Think about it. Answer though isn't actually interested in being valued by his community. How solos interests is in his individual achievement. He has his own spaceship, is own crew because I'm sidekick Chewbacca. And he goes on his own missions. He set them for himself. He doesn't care if he's being cheerful. There's a whole set of archetype or responses to life. The are based on the desire to be valued by the community. Then there's a whole other set of opposing archetype or responses that are based on the desire for individual achievements. Whether or not it's recognized by community. You'll know people like this in your life. You'll know quite quickly if you look at yourself, do you value archetypal recognition from your community, or do you value your own individual achievement? And the opposite of the governor is the rebel. The governor is making rules to rebel, is breaking the rules. See this enhanced so long? He's absolutely determined to break any rule he comes across. It's going to smuggle. It's gonna fly the Corelli and run faster than anybody else. Rebels are very interesting and storytelling terms, they make up a lot of our modern storytelling characters. If you think of Breaking Bad and character who goes from school teacher to drug dealer to drug king pin. He's a Rebel. It's finding is Rebel side against the rules of society. I could go much deeper into this. There is going to be a whole workshop on archetypes. So I should have gone deeper into them then I should have. But this is just to give you the context of what the hero's journey rarely is. What are we talking about with the hero's journey? We've explored it in the introductory talk. We've looked at the 17 stages, the hero's journey as laid out by Joseph Campbell. So this is one way of interpreting the hero's journey and why it works is because we have this archetypal character, the hero. And the hero has made archetypal decisions about how they're going to find value in life. And the hero's journey is what happens. When you set yourself on the hair rose path. You're going to have a call to adventure because you need the adventure to throw you into the heroic path. You're gonna refuse the cool. You're going to receive supernatural aid and possibly meet a mentor. You're going across the first threshold, you're gonna be fine as the belly of the whale experienced the roger trials, the meeting with the goddess temptation, retirement with the father, and so on. This is what happens when you go along the hero's journey. 4. The Hero's Journey...: To understand the hero's journey a little better, I have given myself the challenge of improvising a story based on the Hero's Journey. To illustrate how we can use it in stories that are less fantastical, adventurous, escape paste, and sci-fi than Star Wars. Because otherwise it can be a little bit unclear what the value of the hero's journey is and what its limitations are as well, and how we can go beyond it. So we're going to think of a much more mundane setting. But we're still taking the same core motivation for our character. So this is a young person who has faced the essential meaningless of meaninglessness of life. And he's trying to find meaning. And what they've done is they want to be valued by their community. And to achieve that value, they have just going to think of something. They have decided to master the skill of computer coding. So instead of being a space pilot, stead of being glowing sword of light fighter, they're computer coder. Great job in our current era, pays pretty good. But they've just signed you to get so good at coding. They will be seen as a hero by their communities. So when we meet and they're spending all that time coding what could happen. They're not just decoder there hacker because they want to get so good at hacking. But when the call to adventure comes along, and as you can see, I'm going to transcribe the archetypal stages 17. Archetype of stages of the Hero's Journey is these mundane setting. So what kind of call to adventure could you have for a hacker? Compute coding hacker? They get a message from a prisoner, someone who's being held prisoner, held captive. Message from captive that don't have a captive is and comes onto their computer. Let's say they've got like their home built rig and got a message from a captive and they refuse the coals, they delete the message. They delete it, but it hangs around with them. They still feel like they should do something for this political prisoner. They should track down the source where this message came from, and then they receive supernatural aid. What form would supernatural aid take? For computer coding? Hacker. Maybe it could be an artificial intelligence. I'll call that an art I that contacts for them again for you, that computer. You know, they're sitting. In that loft apartment that they've got for themselves with their initial gains from being a hacker, you know, they've already made some money before they start me. On the hero's journey, an artificial intelligence manifests on their computer system and summons them again and gives them some advanced hacking power to cross the first threshold. What could the first threshold B, maybe they go into. They are digitized into their computer. With the help of the AI, they actually become the greatest possible computer coding hacker by entering the world of the computer. Wave some kind of headset. Let's say, just to emphasize, I didn't think this through a never considered this story idea before. It's simply to show the power, the power of the hero's journey. Now these stages of the Hero's Journey, they would, very few stories would use them all, would use all 17. And there would very rarely come in order, even installed was the order of them is slightly bigger, bid you good around belly of the whale. So once you've crossed the first threshold, you announced the unknown world. From the known Well that was familiar before what could the belly of the whale B? It could be for a hacker that with his mentor, the artificial intelligence could be, or he or she has Corita, not important. The belly of the whale could be like being held in the buffer. He's like in a kind of buffer zone within the digital world and he's not able to get in or out. And it's held in a kind of purgatory, let say this kind of digital purgatory. And is able to escape that an ends the world and develop their character within what is a kind of day in, let's say. And then then says World of trials where there are tests. So the test could be a coding challenge within the digital weld. Having to break a code. Break the code. What allies could they find? There could be a, a cookie, a kind of computer program like a cookie. Sorry to you. Code is out there for my annex bucks. I don't really know a cookie is or an avatar. An avatar that exists only within digital world. An enemy could be like a security coda, security Timo trying to crack down on the hackers. You've entered the digital world. Meeting with the goddess. So you see here the mirroring between different hero's journeys in different settings. So even though we placed this into a relatively realistic setting, it still has a bit of a pattern of Star Wars because the message came from a captive who we now discover is a female hacker. She's being held prisoner by the CIA or the NSA. And by going into the digital world, the hacker is able to rescue her. So this is a bit like going after Princess layer. You'll also see here, don't, you know about even thinking about it, I'd married some of the ideas of Tron going into digital world, Tron, totally a rewriting of the hero's journey. Temptation could be to sale. You know, the hacker might be tempted to sell their skills to the NSA to become one of security team. Atonement with the fathers. So it's very important in Star Wars that Luke is the sun, sorry spoiler alert for the 40-year old movie. But Luke is the son of Darth Vader. And maybe this hacker. His father, unbeknownst to him, is an NSA agent. This is where the hackett got some of his skills for me. He's never known this about his father. His father has just been an ordinary suburban dad, but he's actually an agent of the NSA who are running these digital online world that certain powerful, important people can enter into apotheosis and the ultimate Boone will do as one. So in this digital world, in order to defeat his father, he has to gain the ultimate coding skill, which is the skill of making the world itself, making the digital world, which makes him like an architect of this world and give him immense powers within it. But he's able to use to rescue the goddess. And he therefore has the ultimate boon, but he doesn't want to leave. He doesn't want to leave this world. Because in the outside world, if you simply mundane in this world, who has the skills of an architect of the digital world. So he refuses, he refuses that return. But ultimately, he refuses the return. He has to take the magic flight. What would a magic flight be out of a digital world back into the real world? It would be being loaded onto a USB key. So he's loaded onto a USB key. And this friend who we haven't met yet in the story. But I will go and ret, come back into the beginning of the story hasn't offend who's like a jovial hacker type, who doesn't enter the world, but he's helping him out in the real world and carries him. And he's also the rescue from without the jovial hacker who rescues our hero and carries them back across the threshold. And the threshold, let's say is a Game Center, the kind of place now the kids go to play on powerful computers, the online games, and maybe there's a 100 of them in a game center. And he's taken back to the game center. And in the Game Center's gamer friends help him return back to the world with the female hacker who was also rescued and they both being carried on the USB key. And when he gets back to the world, he realizes that he still has the architects power. And he can use it in the real world to have powers in the real world. I did say this was going to be more mundane, that has become more escapist and fantastical. You could do this with, let's say someone joining an accountancy firm. Good example of this is the farm by John Grisham, standards for film with Tom Cruise. So also classic hero's journey story, but there were no fantastical elements. So you can set the hero's journey an entirely non fantastical world as well. And the final stage, finally, 17 stages, now being the mass to, well, it's, you know, it's the freedom to live. So it's no longer an introverted hacker kid. He's now confronted his father who's come back home to live in. It's no longer working for the NSA. He's rescued the female hacker, all of his friends who wants rejected him at the Game Center and his jovial hacker friends, he's now a hero to them and he's free to just live his life, are going to draw a star here. Okay, so this shows the power, the hero's journey, because you can take that hero's journey. I guarantee you if you made this as a two hour nice Hollywood movie for the young adult audience. Maybe, you know, the kind of kids who'd been going to see the Hunger Games movies, Harry Potter movies. Now we're loader. That would really work, and it works every time. And that's why the hero's journey gets told again and again and again. If you are working on a script video game, if you're working on a shorter novel format, maybe young adult novel, hero's journey. It will work, but perhaps not hugely original and perhaps a bit limited. 5. ...and writing beyond the Hero's Journey: What are the limitations of the hero's journey? The pattern, as laid out by Joseph Campbell claims to be a universal Mano mf that underlies every story told by humanity. But it's actually much more limited than that. Firstly, it's the hero's journey. And he is about the archetypal decisions made by the hero archetype. It's also only about the first stage of the hero archetype through that journey through life. Heroes turning stories are most often enjoyed by children and young adults. People in adolescence, people were still waiting, in a sense to go on their first adventure in life. And older adults and older people can still enjoy the hero's journey, but it's not gonna be as meaningful to them because they've done this stage. Or at least hopefully they have. We do live in a time and age where many, many people don't feel that they've been able to find meaning in life. And perhaps than older ages in life. We find ourselves going back to the hero's journey because perhaps we were never able to do that passed the hero's journey, ourself, and we therefore feel stuck on the stages that might come later. Because what would happen to somebody who set out in life on the hero's path to find meaning by gaining approval from their community, by excelling at a skill. Maybe if we look at someone like I'm going to say, because he's in the news at the moment, mike tyson. You think about Mike Tyson, the boxer archetype or hero personality. He wanted the adulation of his community should the time is a whole world. Fame, stardom, bike selling of this skill is very archetype or heroic skill, boxing, combat, one-on-one, confrontation between two human beings. And he became the greatest ever. So what happens with Mike Tyson? Well, first of all, he has his first fights. He has a mentor, is a very famous coach who I didn't know the name of that who trained Mike Tyson gave him is almost supernatural boxing skills. So you, because he is really on the archetype apart. And then he goes out and against as first-world title. You know, he does what we call in mythic storytelling terms. He kills the monster. The well champion who is out there waiting to be defeated. Maybe if you're telling that story, you would emphasize the negative characteristics that well champion. So I want to introduce you to a larger framework. Which grows from the same union as in Carl Young. Ideas about the developments of meaning and the ox would take through life is influenced very heavily by Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. But it builds upon it. It is by a right to cold Christopher Booker, who was also for much of his career, I believe he is retired now, political columnist on the conservative right. He wrote for the Daily Telegraph, I believe, and the UK. But he also wrote an enormous and the epic book on story structure called the seven basic plots. And he's actually deeper. It's dpid and just plotting a story, although you can use it. And he takes the hero's journey and he builds upon it. And he has seven stages. But the journey of the hero that grow in emotional complexity and debt. So they essentially take a hero into the latest stages of life. These 70 kill the monster. So that's what we see install wall was leaks. I will carbon hero's journey destroys the depth style, which is the Munson. And you know, and you can talk about that in a lot of stories. A lot of these, Hey boys do any stories. There's now thousands of them which have been done by Hollywood. That bass key about this kill the monster stage. But we'll follows that. Rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return comedy, tragedy. And the seventh is rebuff seven stages that take you into increasing emotional complexity of the character and the heroin. So let's think about this in relation to Mike Tyson, rags to riches. So after becoming the world champion, Mike Tyson becomes a famous rich individually, it's gone from ranks. Essentially a very poor kid growing up who's now has his millions. He has his fame, and he can pursue the life that he wants to. He's gone from rags to riches. And what happens here is that the hero is somewhat corrupted. They lose their mental. Mike lost his trainer, they lose their friends. And then at the ends of the rags to riches story, they'd go back, like give up the right cheers, Nasrid Mike did this to return more to their roots, then sent on a quest. And the crisis is to achieve something even greater than defeating the monster from Mike Tyson. This was unifying the boxing belts. And you went and defeated orders while champions one-by-one. That's a great Christ. You see, isn't that interesting? That someone, a hero in real life or someone on the heroic path seems to go into, as they develop emotionally free life become more complex as human beings, they seem to follow these occupy PLS stages. When the crest is succeeded. Lincoln won a void, return, voyage and return. This is the classic story that you find in something like Jason and the organelles. What Jason is sent by the cropped king. To go and voyage and to return with a special object for humanity, which is the golden fleece. I currently my thinking about it, see what Mike Tyson didn't the void return. But let's imagine Mike Tyson's voyage and return. In fact, this does happen in the Rocky movies, the four rocky movie. What does Rocky Balboa do? Sorry for those of you who are not boxing fans in the way that I am. What does work? Ebell Bo Du, He voyages to the USSR. I'd never thought about this before. It's just cuts me. And he fights Ivan Dragos and he brings back the wild championship belt. This was a time when the American audiences were quite varied, ni, anti-communist. So there was a political idea and this, and this is the voyage and return. And you can imagine Mike Tyson doing something like this in his career, may be he did a1. And you then have the comedy and the tragedy. And these are different versions of the same stage. And a comedy. There's something wrong with the world. There's something out to balance with the weld. And in solving that thing that is out of balance, the hero brings balance back to the world. And It's comedic because it's nice and light and happy. It's not necessarily funny. That's a moment in the interpretation of the word comedy. But he's very usually funding as well. The opposite of committees, the tragedy. There's something our balance in the world that the hero fails to sell that. And in fact, it's either killed or kills all of the people around them. They lose their friends, they lose their lover. The great writer of the tragedy, it was William Shakespeare. And you think about things like Macbeth, Hamlet, a fellow. He's great tragedies. There's something out unbalance in the world. Instead of addressing it, the hero, as in Hamlet. I think that sounds a balance, is possible murder the king, Mohammed sang cold king's brother. Hamlet isn't able to resolve and instead he ends up killing all of the members of his family. So you don't wanna do generally. It means you're no longer the hero you are now the tragic care where you are the cause of tragedy. Think about the career of Mike Tyson. Got into the ring of Evander Holyfield and Evander Holyfield air off. And it's not quite the tragic archetype, but you see what happened there is the full of the hero, the fall of the hero. And then to complete all of the stages. So now maybe the heroes in their thirties or forties then later on in life, they fall under disgraced I went outcomes, they're thrown out to the world. The classical archetype for this is Oedipus, Oedipus Rex. And he has merged his father, his mother. He has fulfilled prophecy. He's cast out. And then many years later he comes back to the Kingdom is a blind profit. And this is the riba. Riba for the heroin is to come back into the civilization and. Perform some final act of heroism against great odds. We have Mike Tyson Now in his fifties training for combat fight. He's been on the Joe Rogan show and he steps back into the celebrity world. It's a great boxer that e's facing off against. But this is so fascinating to people. You know, billions of people are gonna watch this fight because it's archetypical. Mike Tyson is the archetype or hero. As a ring boxer. The archetypal hero of our age, the most famous heroic archetype for age. And now it's a filling the final stage of the heroic journey. Fascinating. So imagine you wanted to make an epic story based on lack of Mike Tyson. You want to make an HBO series each season of your series about Mike Tyson would follow one of these stages. And this is how you do epic storytelling. You take one of the archetypal character types. Their hero, for instance, could be the rebel. As we fall. Could be the explorer, could be the innocent, could be the governor. Is going to be a whole workshop dedicated to the archetypes were exploited and little bit of detail here. And you taught the full seven stages of their journey. And they're going to be different from the heroes stages has charted by Christopher Booker. They're going to be different from the hero's journey. It won't be the hero's journey. It will be the rebels journey. It will be the governor's journey. It will be the innocence journey or be the caregiver's journey. Whichever archetype you pick up. Because these archetype represent decisions about how to find meaning in life as humans, we're all taking to develop as an adult to grow is now that we've had to make this decision for ourself. So when we see these archetypes playing out, not just in one movie, but N7 movies, not just in one book that seven novels, not just in one season of a TV show that seven seasons. What keeps us coming back is watching that archetype or journey the way ourselves share on some level, unfolding. And this is the real scale of the storyteller. You wanna make it big as a storyteller. We want to make it to the top level. You have to understand. You have to really know how lows archetypical journeys unfold. That takes a lot of studying of story, takes a lot of studying of the techniques and the storyteller, and he takes a lot of variance of nine. So think about the experience of a storyteller who can truly unfold and archetype because all seven stages of their journey and get into the detail that the level that Joseph Campbell did remember that Campbell found one part of one path. He did it in great detail. You can use Campbell's blueprint to tell quite a successful story. That's what the makers of storyboards to note that the makers of Star Wars have to keep coming back to adolescent characters who were on the first Jay-Z's stage, the hero's journey. Because they don't know this. If they knew this, the nine films that the OK, Each one of those could have been a masterpiece, but they didn't know that. Instead they just used the blueprints of the hero's journey again and again, very few storytellers today understand this and have the skills to implement. A final reminder, this isn't advanced piece of learning in storytelling and in sci-fi and fantasy storytelling specifically. Go through this workshop a couple of times, Fink it free for yourself, whether you think it works way, you think it doesn't work. Do some of the reading, pickup Joseph Campbell's hair over 1000 faces pick up assembly. Plot lines by Christopher Booker. Go back to the source material. Lookup book like eon by Carl Young or any of Carl Jung's writing on self-actualization. Look at storytellers like Clarissa pink collar Aristides, who was a Union therapist and a traditional storyteller in the Latin tradition. A contrary Dora. They, this is where you're going to find the really advanced storytelling skills that you're going to allow you to tell epic multi-volume stories, which I'm sure is the ambition for many of you out there. Look at it's been a huge success. Game of Thrones and George Martin, the reason Georgia or mountains novels were so successful and they are already huge bestsellers before there were tiny TV shows. And the TV shows were only successful to the extent that the writing was provided to them by George RR Martin. It's because Georgia Martin is one of the very few storytellers who both the skills and the experience to allow not just one archetype or journey, but at least for archetype or journey in detail. And through that stages, as the characters become more mature into their life. That's why that story is so successful. And GOARN. Georgia Martin is one of the very few living storytellers who could do it. Takes a lot of skill and takes lot of development. Consider the relationship between these archetypal stories, both at levels of a hero's journey and at a level of seven basic plots extending the emotional maturity of this archetypal character, the relationship between these archetype or plot lines. And the question that we started with, what is humanities highest potential? What's the most that we can achieve in a life? And here's a possible answer to that question. It's about walking the path of the archetype that you've set yourself in life. So if you've chosen the heroes path, the hero's journey, the rebels journey, the creators journey, the governance journey. Your highest potential lies at the end of that path. We get an indication of that install wars. We see Luke take steps on his journey. An Empire Strikes Back when China, the Jedi, we see him advanced a little bit further until he is the Jedi Knight who can walk into Jabulanis palace and killed gods and rescue his friends. But our lives are more mundane than that. We're not going to develop psychic Jedi panel is we don't know how to use the force. We probably can't pilot a star fighter. But what we can do is for fellow archetype, we can grow into full strengths of the hero or the athlete, the governor, they'll politician, the rebel, the artist. However you follow those archetypal pants, whatever some of them are in your life, your potential lies at the end of that path in learning both its strengths and weaknesses, in exploring what it can do and what it can't do in being right or stop by your archetype journey and in falling because of it, maybe you'll change your archetypal path. Maybe the meaning of your life changes as you progress through it. And this is why these archetypal stories compel us so deeply. Because we see the higher potential of our own life in the characters were watching on the screen. We're reading battle on the page or replaying as in a video game. Okay. I hope you've got something from this workshop, also included with this workshop in about sci-fi and fantasy writing. 21st century MIP isn't interview with Java vacate, cognitive scientist. Another very, very skill wise individual. And we'd go into why these stories is so meaningful to us. What it is about story like Star Wars, that is sparking so much religious fervor within us. Ok, thank you. My name is Dan and Walter. If you have not figured that out already, you will find we're running over time in this workshop, so you will find a written exercise. We're not gonna go through the exercise, but it is very close to what we did already in the workshop. But wherever it is, you are watching this, whether it be on my website or any of the great educational platforms where it's available. You will find a written exercise to work on. Please come back for the fourth workshop. Are going to be delving deeper into the archetypes and use some more Karl Young by looking at Blade Runner 2049. Thank you very much. 6. Vervaeke Interview 1 - Is nerd culture mere escapism : One of the things we might want to explore is a prison. I published an article that's coming out this year. On the side view, we have what we call a symptomology of the meeting crisis. Where we look at very symptomatic expressions of the meeting crisis. And one is a phenomenon that other people have been articulating called the virtual accidents. This is the fact that people are now showing a preference for the virtual world, virtual games, for example, video games. And one of the things about that is to ask yourself, what is it that people are finding in this virtual reality? That they find so extremely lacking in reality itself, in actual reality. And then one of the things I'd like to explore, because you said something that's sort of piqued my interest. And I think it was, I think was somewhat humorous icon on your part. But you describe the science fiction, these literatures as escape us. But I'm wondering if, right, I'm wondering if we could compare science fiction literature, tear the virtual Exodus, because the problem with the virtual Exodus, it's, it's largely maladaptive. It seems to be associated with video game addiction, all kinds of other deleterious effects, extended Bob participation and social media is very bad for mental health, et cetera, et cetera. And whether or not, I don't see science fiction necessarily having these deleterious effects on people. And I'm wondering if by comparison we might be able to draw out a little bit more about kind of a triangulation approach. Compare these different things and see what they might tell us. Maybe a bit more about what's going on in the meeting crisis. But also how science fiction may play a role in helping people perhaps adaptively respond to it. So maybe that's something we could explore. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I I have some kinda questions prepared for you, but I had the feeling that if I ask the questions, that's probably less interesting and just seeing what emerges from us talking together. So that the idea of escapism is kind of at the center of all my questions though rate one way or another, right? Because I see this is very much like a continuum of that. The overall term that gets given to it is often a culture or geek girl. Yeah, yeah, yeah, these, these are all things that like share this escapist quality. They usually Fantastic in that light the symbols they using and getting out to the world. And it's really interesting that people have this sense that they can escape into them and there's like a world. Yeah, very much they can enter into. So that's a huge part of science fiction writing. So the focus of the course is on like creating these stories and, and how do we do that? And that's usually talked about in terms of world-building. So the idea that using this language on the page, we can actually build a world that we can enter into, could be an alien world. And this really got picked up by video games. Yes, very much, very much. I know the only games that I think back to you in things like The Hobbit, these texts, adventures and I was so basically I want you to think about them. But there was this since we're inside them somehow. And then there's this intermediate genre of role-playing games which are taking on sort of increasing significance. There's a, there's a Scandinavian format is particularly interesting to me called Jeep form, in which people are doing live role-playing. And the dungeon master's actually director in the dungeon master will come and assign roles to you and saying, Hey, your husband and wife than you're now, right? You, you've discovered that your wife has betrayed you. Now act out the scene and they'll give you things and say, this is a gun and you have to treat it as props. And they'll suddenly cut and say, okay, now switched roles. And to do all this is about, because what's really interesting is the, notice how this suppose the opposite way of escape, which is why I brought it up, looking for a phenomena called bleed. What they want is they want the difference between what's happening in the game and their life to bleed so that the distinction between them breaks down. And the reason is that allows, right? It allows the game to be a place where they can taste. They can try on different identities and ways of looking at the world and then get them into a form that is transferable back to their everyday life and is in some sense the military for them solving the problems that they're finding very difficult to deal with. And what's interesting about that is that also lines up with a lot of literature. Or my friend and colleague Eva Grossman and other work showing. If you give people, you ask people about their problems and they'll tell you their problems, a blablabla, and they almost inevitably tell it from a first-person perspective. Then you, then you do this to them. You'd say, redescribed that same problem from a third-person perspective are how your friend John sees that problem. And then they describe it from that alternative perspective. And then they get insight on how to solve the problem. It's called the solomon effect. And so this idea of going out and coming back in, which bleed is really trying to deliberately create. I find that very intriguing because that speaks to me, that speaks to me something more like Tolkien's recovery theory of fantasy, rather than a notion of, you know, just escape. And I'll say one more thing again in a little. Yeah. He's like, no, no, you carry on. Because when you're doing that move, when you're doing this kind of see when you're doing this move, when you're going out to another perspective in order to come back and correctness perspective, you're in. Tolkien call that the recovery theory, right? And it's, I think it's a transformation of your seeing and being in this world. That strikes me as very, very similar to a lot of the, I'm going to put these in quotes because they're contentious terms. A lot of the religious and spiritual practices you see within wisdom traditions whereby people do some act of self-transcendence through some other world or deeper dimension of this world. And that is really interesting to me because that seems to be reliably correlated. I would, I would argue at least historically, with people being able to cultivate wisdom. And then I would argue based on the work that I'm doing. The primary job, wisdom has two jobs and they're interrelated, they're interdependent jobs. It's to help you comprehensively overcome self-deception and to help increase your sense of meaning in life. And so this sense of this, these kinds of fantastic, let's call it, let's use that as a neutral term, maybe as being right. I'm proposing that there's a continuum that you see. So yeah, there's a continuum this way with virtual gains, but there's a continuum this way. If you'll allow me a spectrum with very traditional religious and spiritual practices of self-transcendence, whereby people get to a place where they can overcome an ecocentric perspective that ameliorates self-deception and enhances the sense of connectedness. They have to something larger than themselves, but also more real than themselves. Hmm? So I said I would stop and give you a chance to just so much in that I'm so recovery. And the sense of stepping out of ourselves in this spectrum from like video games should true? Like spiritual, religious, ecstatic experience? Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's a documentary about live role playing. And the people who got into live role playing and the different characters involved. One was like a young man, very, very low self-esteem. And he ended up, is that the general in the live role-playing game? And like two years later, he was hugely confident. He had a family and he was running his own business. And it was like the experiences within the role-playing game that had produced every full him. Yeah. 7. Vervaeke Interview 2 - The Transcendence of Escapism: Or why I wished for a four pi occassion. Its energy to the history of style Woods, I'm sure you're aware like the hero's journey that's imbedded. I'm where that came from. And this is like distilled from all of our great religious Madison and then placed into Star Wars. So you could make the argument that it's like a sacred story and it must have intense meaning by oh sorry, that it might just be like an addictive substance. It has all the appearance of meaning, but doesn't actually mean anything. And I can't find an answer to that for myself. Well, let let's try together. If I reviewed ask me You get to ask Amy and one question and from that, determine how much meaning in life he has. This is the question I would ask them. How often do you enter the flow state? Known as often as I want to. Yeah. Yeah. And that's exactly the right answer. That's a good answer. So thinking about this, what, what does flow, what's floor all about? Well flows all about that terrific sense of being deeply connected to the world. The world of having ongoing insight of getting an, an enacted sense of being coupled to the deeper patterns of the world. Really great what's called implicit learning. So it's this connectedness and sense-making and insight. Video games are flow induction machines, right? They put you into the flow state, right? Really, really reliably, you're getting everything that you want for meaning, but you're getting it in a situation that is not designed to transfer. It's not like when people go to church, people go to church and they go in to a huge simple simulation, a huge video game in which they're doing all of this stuff. But the idea is that supposed to bleed. It was set up, its design, its cultivated to transfer out education. We just, we just forget how, how, how weird and fictional education is. You go into this room and you spin all these possible worlds and I, and ideas. And the whole point of that is to get people to adduce, to draw from them a new way of seeing the world and new way of understanding themselves. And so I mean, that's why they were originally called the liberal arts. They're supposed to liberate us. Some important trash them there. They're aspirational projects are my favorite author as a kid, growing up was Roger's elastically, I think of like, you know what, I consider his masterpiece, Lord of Light, Hank was locked in a fundamentalist Christian worldview. I'd been brought up and I read that book. And it shattered that for me. And not because he bought like Sam Harris, you know, some new atheists come in and gave me all these are all 0. It was like, boom, I can be other than I've always b and I can see other than I've always seen and experienced profound recovery. So the question I want to ask, and I hope this doesn't sound too simplistic. Is how much fleet is there? How much transfer, how much dust participation in the Star Wars world genuinely enhance their capacity for wisdom in their lives is a transformative of their sense of self, your sense of world, and doesn't afford measurable increase. So for example, if somebody is doing a lot of Star Wars stuff and that transferred such that they were getting into the flow state more often in their lives. Or they were more capable of stepping back and looking at their own perspective and transforming it. That I wouldn't say it's an addiction. I would say it's actually providing something like recovery.