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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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The perils of worldbuilding

7 minutes

Is our love of built worlds in fiction making us too passive and disengaged?

It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of intricate artificial worlds in works of fiction. They don’t just give us a new narrative to digest, but an entirely new universe with its own logic, laws and rules, and we – the audience – are invited to become participants. But should great works of fiction demand more from readers and viewers than merely assisting in worldbuilding? Incisively written by the US blogger Evan Puschak (also known as The Nerdwriter), The Perils of Worldbulding is a shrewd take on the appeal of imagined worlds, and their potential pitfalls.

Video by The Nerdwriter

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/
Anthropology
Infanticide

There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it’s ubiquitous in human history. What drives a parent to kill a baby?

Sandra Newman

Essay/
Rituals & Celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison