I am legit astonished that anyone’s tried to answer this in good faith, but there were some legit straight answers made out there.
When I woke up and freshened up on today’s question (Alexa, who was Lacan?), I had this tiny pit of dread in my stomach. What on earth? It’s my question! What am I dreading? And then, sipping my coffee with Honey Nut Cheerios leftover milk poured into it, I had an amazing flashback.
This is totally personal stuff, feel free to just bounce on this thread if you’re not feeling that.
So my flashback. It’s senior AP English and we’re doing student-written tests of books we’re reading. My bestie and I get it into our idiot teenage smart-kid heads that it’d be fucking hilarious to write an impossibly tough test. We did actual research: it was The Brothers Karamazov, so there were lots of resources available several orders more involved than Cliff’s Notes. We wrote and delivered, straight-faced, a 400-level lit crit essay test to our senior class.
I’m not sure what our endgame was, actually. I mean we had to turn something in and the students were obligated to do the test, no matter what. Were were, what, going to rip our masks off and laugh hysterically? No idea. It didn’t end well, with even the best-natured students (all acutely concerned about their AP performance because that shit is college credits and there’s real money on the line) whipped into a fury at us.
Total, epic failure at all levels. We absorbed a semester of hazing from the other students with the teacher’s tacit approval. I still grit my teeth at the memory.
I did end up with a healthy skepticism for pseudointellectualism. I mean I’m all for doing the homework, using technically specific terminology, thinking and overthinking and trying to pull in semi-related fields for additional context. Brains are awesome, smarts are sexy, etc. Pseudointellectualism is a horrible social signaling game played out in the realm of show-offy conversations (online debates these days).
The weeks where I feel the most alienated from the so-called “gaming community,” though, is when I’m faced with the very worst game of “Would You Rather?” And that’s when my choice is pseudointellectualism or anti-intellectualism.
I have no patience at all for the folks who just flat reject or deride the hard work that many of us obviously derive value from. And I guess here’s the rub: each time I try to write a sentence along the lines of “I also have no patience for the folks trying to score points with big words” I pause just a bit. Just a bit. So I guess that tips the scale ever-so-slightly for me, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I guess Lacan was a philosopher? I read the name in extreme passing at some point and it lodged itself in my head alongside bildungsroman and Campbellian and Diderot. Potentially useful ammo for a future show-offy online conversation.
I could do the research, I guess. I’m not being anti-intellectual, here! I’m confessing that I repeated my can’t-pass high school essay test joke without any sense of the endgame.
Don’t ever let anyone in gaming make you feel dumb about gaming. Not some indie asshole like me, not some trad blogger with Very Strong Opinions, not anyone with a partisan bone to pick.