Never Just a Game: How the Interplay of Video Games and the "Real" World Complicates Boundaries in Rushdie's Luka and the Fire of Life
Warner, Matthew Bradley
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the interplay of games and reality as depicted in Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life. The convergence of several realities is a recurrent trope in Rushdie’s novels. The trope often explores falsely maintained boundaries between the two realities. Rushdie juxtaposes a video game world and the real world in order to explore the benefits of play and the dangers of realizing the close link between the activities of a world of play (the World of Magic) and a world of seriousness (Alifbay). After the establishing the dependence the two world share, I argue that in Luka Rushdie seems to propose that reconciling the world of play and the world of seriousness requires a paradoxical commitment to serious play and playful seriousness. This commitment cultivates imagination, which Luka accomplishes during his adventure to save his father.