ESP Biography

ALEXANDER EL NABLI, Zelda/Sheik player interested in philosophy.

Major: Fundamentals and Philosophy

College/Employer: University of Chicago

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Alexander El Nabli

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hi All,

My name is Alex Elnabli, and I am a University of Chicago sophomore exploring the question "What is philosophy?" through a major called Fundamentals. I was born in New York and hopped around with my family until we landed in southern California. I had an incredible high school experience which not only cemented my belief in the ultimate value of secondary education but also affirmed my desire to teach it in the future. I basically encountered two men who changed my life. The first was my Latin teacher, Mr. Emparan, a wily classicist with designs on corrupting youth such as myself with the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. The second and far more life-altering was Mr. Gregory Rhodes, my sophomore English and senior philosophy teacher. With such grace and aptitude he drew me and so many of my peers into whatever subject he taught because he was a lifetime learner, dedicated to his recognition that life demands more of us than we are so often willing to give it. Not only did he commit his time and energy to rigorous study while in school and afterwards but he went above any beyond to live all of the ideas that he fought so hard to discover. For this man, education is practice. I went on to partner a philosophy club with Mr. Rhodes that acted as an alternative classroom to what we were being offered at our school. It was a breeding ground for new ideas, activism, and friendship.

Exploring the philosophical aspects of video gaming, a longtime passion of mine, came from Mr. Rhodes' respect and curiosity of all media and the requirement of writing an extended, 15 page paper in my senior year of high school. With his support we discovered the rich and fascinating thought that has not only gone into the creation of games for the last 40 years but also what has come as a result of it. We spent our entire Christmas break reading and talking about concepts of play, fun, rules, game, technology, systems, and so much more to put together that essay. I had no idea that so many people outside the industry as well as many current game developers are dedicated to producing thoughtful and compelling games which challenge norms we see in games themselves as well as in society or politics.

I was lucky enough to take a class last year at Chicago on whether or not video games can be considered art, which really expanded my exposure to actual games and developers who are making truly groundbreaking games. I am really looking forward to learn a lot more about video games through you because there are so many I have never played.

Thanks for your interest and see you soon,

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

J1838: Reading Video Games (Will we ever get tired of shooting aliens in the crotch?) in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
What do we expect when we cough up $35-$60 for a video game and what ought we expect? Are video games a form of entertainment or pieces of art to reflect upon? We will explore how video games differentiate themselves from other media and what could be required of such a peculiar industry if it wants to take advantage of these qualities (i.e. interactivity, the problematic, rules, fun, and princesses). We will also briefly examine the history of gaming to situate ourselves in the current context of PC and console games. Those brave of heart and strong of thumb are greatly encouraged to enroll.