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Super Marx Bros: watch your favorite video game characters explain philosophy

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

The above video is a succinct, clever explanation of Marxism: specifically, Karl Marx's theory of history. It's also, hilariously enough, animated with characters from the old-school Mario games.

The Marxism/Mario video is part of a great series called 8-Bit Philosophy, by YouTuber Wisecrack. It's exactly what it sounds like: Wisecrack picks an influential idea from the history of philosophy, pairs it with an 8-bit video game, and breaks down the concept using the characters as visual guides. This video, for instance, uses Link and some Zelda characters to explain Plato's Allegory of the Cave:

The most recent uses Samus, from Metroid, to look at Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex:

And a mix of nostalgia for Mega Men and appreciation for a good "time is a flat circle" joke really made me enjoy the episode on Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence:

There are a few weird elements to the videos — for example, Wisecrack has an odd habit of referring to Marx as a "poet." But they're awesome. Here's the full playlist, if you're interested in losing the rest of your day in a haze of philosophical nostalgia.

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