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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

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

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

Support Aeon

Essay/
Art
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Forensics can’t be sure. Provenance can be fudged. This is why the expert eye still rules the game of art authentication

Noah Charney

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
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The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh