May 27, 2002
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Utopian

Game designer and VR guru Brenda Laurel ran Purple Moon, a company that made computer games for girls, until the dotcom meltdown led its jittery investors to sell out to Mattel. This slender pamphlet, elegantly over-designed by Denise Gonzales Crisp, explains not so much what happened as why Laurel thinks the game is worth the candle. She is, at heart, a humanist, and she holds onto the ideals of hard thinking and hard research in support of the common good with a ferocious good nature.

"The whole apparatus of critical/ postmodern/ cultural studies ... never managed to excite me into action in the same way those original, if bruised ideals did. I return to humanistic values, which for all their misinterpretations and misapplications, validate humanity's ability to create a better future, and which offer both an ethical ground and a methodology for setting about it."