“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.”–Brave New World
Dates: June 1-4 and 7-10
Time: 11:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Fee: No cost
Contact: Dr. Claire Katz, Camp Director
Week 1: Plato’s Republic
Reading for the week: Book 1, Book 2, Book 7, and Book 8 of Plato’s Republic.
Week 2: Application and creation
Texts for the week: Huxley’s Brave New World and Star Wars clips.
After studying Plato’s Republic, Huxley’s Brave New World, and the Star Wars movies, the campers created their own philosophical allegories. These allegories are posted below!
A child, Pharma, is born unlike the rest of their society to parents who want to give their child a fulfilling life. Pharma’s parents invent a pill that is designed to dissolve in food and slowly, over time, change the child’s eyes blue. Pharma needs to continuously take the pill daily to maintain their blue eye color. If they take the pill continuously for 18 years, the effect becomes permanent. Their parents continue to feed it to them for years, unbeknownst to them, and they have to eat the food (because, of course, otherwise, they would starve to death). On the eve of their 18th birthday, Pharma realizes what their parents are doing. Horrified at this discovery, they no longer trust their parents, nor the food they give them. Afraid of what else the food might have changed about them or what else it might change, Pharma decides to stop consuming the food, and instead eats the only thing they can trust; themselves. Pharma looks at their own body and starts by eating their own toes. Then feet. Their legs, and thighs. Bit by bit until all that is left are their blue eyes.
There is a game everyone must play to learn and become a good citizen of the democracy.
The function of this game is to travel through a city, engaging with a few required locations and characters, but nothing beyond. However, there are hundreds of smaller alleyways and tasks to engage with if a player so chooses. They were declared “optional side quests” by universal decree. These side quests were intended to enhance the players’ understanding and appreciation for the virtual world but will require a great investment of their time.
One player, Estelle, partakes in this game, as is required. She does nothing extraordinary; she partakes in no aspect of code he has not been pressed to. She is the first to finish that day. She is also the first to regret her game. Unequipped to understand the inner workings of her own city, Estelle allows her apathy to consume her, her voice never heard, no changes ever made. She and others like her agonize over their lack of exploration those years ago. Yet they never once attempt to rectify their actions or go to play again, instead they sit together, spitting about flaws in themselves and the world around them. Their cries of agony and pity deafen each overtime, none realizing their own deafness continue yelling their fears.
A second player named Inez partakes in the game. She finds each avenue to be an expectation. Her father has set a standard in her family for total success within the game. She travels for a long time and goes everywhere, completing the city’s mysteries, but with no care or thought behind her actions. She completes the game second and is the last to see her city’s flaws. Her lack of criticism for her own actions and own city leads to her tongue falling out due to underuse.
The third and final player sees it through, Garcin. From the beginning of his trial, he adores each moment of mystery or empathy. He returns objects and exhausts dialogue, absorbing all he can. His mind and body are engaged. He sees all that was created for him. He is the last to finish. However once he exits his menu, he discovers the lack of intrigue in the world around him. Instead of the city he explored for hours, he is faced with a city of ignorance and apathy. His hours that have been used have been fruitless in light of the reality he faces. He understands his city’s flaws and sees their inevitable conclusion. He falls into despair, knowing the truths of the world around him but there is no one no one who will listen or converse.
The players find themselves in the center of a city, a hellish landscape of screaming with no sound, hearing with no care, and living without feeling. Each describes to the other what they have seen but none can understand. Garcin describes the horrors of the city, the hate and destruction that surrounds them. Garcin shows the true nature of the city’s evils he sees and why it has become this way. Inez attempts to respond, finding a point of contention, a point of self-pride, but unable to speak simply stands, watching the horrors around them grow. Garcin, the final one to think, simply imagines a world where the flaws he found so long ago had fixed themselves, a world where he had always been right.
The first player went deaf because he refused to involve herself in other ideas and experiences.
The second player went mute as her tongue had fallen out from a lack of active participation.
The third man saw the game all the way through, and retained his ability of communication, but forced to work and live among others who had not retained theirs, was subject to the same fate as them, eternal damnation.
The Cousin invites the Influencer camping
The Influencer brings the Camera and Makeup to the trip–Influencer brings the posse to blog the whole trip (can’t waste a moment for content creation!).
Cousin and Partner are disappointed but they go into the woods with the Wilderness Expert anyway.
The Expert takes them to a snake infested area and loses the faith of the campers. In this area each camper is almost bitten by a snake.
The 5 campers leave the Expert in the snake area and try to make it on their own
The 5 vote on what to do next
After some discussion and persuasion, they decide to move on to a new area of the woods
They start running out of resources
The Influencer takes too much food for themselves and blames the Partner for the missing food
The Influencer calls a vote to kick Partner out of the campsite
The Influencer, Makeup, and Camera vote Partner out
Partner and Cousin are exiled
Once Partner and Cousin leave the Influencer takes many pictures with the help of Camera and Makeup—The Influencer meets their match when they are convinced to take a selfie with a bear. Camera and Makeup meet up with the Cousin and Partner again.
The Cousin, Partner, Makeup, and Camera make do for a while and eventually are taken in by another camping group