Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Meanings of Ender's Game

In response to an Ender's Game discussion (Goodreads), with a link from Reddit, I posted the following:

Much of the Reddit stream seems to focus on military tactics, or the lack thereof, used by the Ender, but who reads Ender and thinks it about military tactics, except the 20-year old grunt that started the thread?

For a book written in the 80's, then edited in the early 90's, it seems more prophetic, with its use of game immersion, remote military operations and portable computing. Then when you think about the use of children in military games, one can think somewhat more deeply about sociopolitical indoctrination.  The series itself becomes a broader exploration of empathy and foreign culture.  The criticism seems more like the problem of a man with a hammer, who thinks every problem is solved by hammering, but even worse, every problem is about hammering.

An additional post, regarding suspension of disbelief:

Some people commented on the suspension of disbelief, and that they could not suspend disbelief. I have at times wondered what is required for suspension to occur. With any great science fiction, suspension of disbelief is required to tolerate the seemingly impossible. For me, with Ender, it was simple, and I did not suffer from doubt about possibilities, but for me acceptance occurs in the beginning of the book, and afterwards I only question the actions of individuals, as to whether they are plausible actions given the character and setting.

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