Category Archives: Irrelevant

Grand Theft Auto V: on morality and digital people.

Grand Theft Auto V is a great game. It’s taken a franchise that was focused on generic organized crime drama and turned it into a story about a group of individuals with widely varied backgrounds who come together for various reasons. The last few games were all about mobsters; this game is about planning and pulling off heists, which is a lot more interesting and is an area that hasn’t been explored much in video games.

(If you’re playing the game and don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now.)

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Utterly irrelevant (?): Harry Potter fanfiction

(This is what happens when you promise to blog about the next subject someone mentions to you on Twitter…)

Some people take Harry Potter entirely too seriously.

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a ridiculously large number of fan-written Harry Potter stories on the internet. Most of them are innocent; some of them, not so much.

Briefly browsing through them, they remind me of something – namely, that humanity is generally a sucker for a good story about a super-powered, virtuous hero who uses his magical abilities to overcome a seemingly insurmountable evil force.

Too obscure? Fine – I’ll come right out and say it. Harry Potter is Jesus.

Harry Potter, a young man who always knew, deep down, that he was different from everyone else… a young man from lowly beginnings… discovers that he has a grand destiny, and that he’s the only chance the world has to destroy an evil so overwhelming that most people fear to mention it.

Jesus Christ, a young man who always knew, deep down, that he was different from everyone else… a young man from lowly beginnings… discovers that he has a grand destiny, and that he’s the only chance the world has to destroy an evil so overwhelming that most people fear to mention it.

DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?

Probably not. The idea of a superhuman savior is a ridiculously common fictional trope. So popular, in fact, that once such a character is established, pretty much anybody who knows about him is eager to tell a new story featuring him as the main character.

Officially, Harry Potter only exists in seven books. His life story, in its entirety, is told to us by J. K. Rowling, in her writing. And yet, Rowling’s fans seem almost obligated to write further fictional accounts of Harry’s life, adding to the canon in ways she never thought possible.

This is just about the same way I view the writing of Paul in the New Testament of the Bible. Paul never actually met Jesus, but he was so amazed by the oral traditions surrounding Jesus that he took it upon himself to invent an entire religious system based on Jesus’ teachings.

And somehow, this tradition has expanded around the world, into tens of thousands of denominations. I look at them, and I picture a bunch of people squabbling over things like whether Han shot first.

It’s meaningless, really. Whether you’re a Preterist, a Premillennialist, a Postmillenialist, or an Amillennialist, you’re basically arguing about the finer points of fan fiction. The gospels are the only things containing the words of Jesus, and even those are largely in question. And just like the fact that the seven canonical Books of Rowling don’t prevent the fans from creating works of their own, the four gospels haven’t prevented people throughout the ages from molding Christian doctrine as they saw fit.