William Woods University Plans Events to Promote One Read and ‘Ender’s Game’

William Woods University faculty have planned a number of activities during September in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s One Read program. This year’s book, chosen by a public vote, is Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.” All events at WWU are free and open to the public.

One Read, now in its fourth year, is a community-wide reading program that encourages adults of all ages to read one book and participate in thought-provoking discussion and activities.

“Ender’s Game,” which has sold more than one million copies, is one of the most popular science fiction novels ever written. The book has been equally as popular with non-science fiction readers as with science fiction fans. “Ender’s Game” won the Hugo Award in 1985 and the Nebula Award in 1986.

According to the New York Times, “intense is the word for ‘Ender’s Game.’ Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses—and then training them in the arts of war… The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of ‘games’… Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games… He is smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough to save the planet?”

Warner Brothers has optioned the book for a movie with Wolfgang Petersen (“Troy”) as director; a script is in the works and release is scheduled for 2006.

Following is a list of activities planned at William Woods University:

“Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” Movie and Discussion
Thursday, Sept. 8 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
Discussion and showing of the 1999 George Lucas movie that sets up the events in the following five Star Wars films. While an evil force lurks in the shadows of the Galactic Empire, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi help the Queen of Naboo confront Dark Jedi Darth Maul, and enlist the aid of a young boy called Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader).

The Game in Ender’s Game
Monday, September 12 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University, Helen Stephens Building Multipurpose Room
The role of the game in Ender’s Game is crucial to the book and in our society. Dr. Katharine Mixter Mayne, assistant professor of biology, will lead a discussion, followed by actual playtime simulating lazer tag in weighless environment. Participants should wear sneakers.

“E.T., the extra-terrestrial” Movie and Discussion
Tuesday, Sept. 13 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
Discussion and showing of Stephen Spielberg’s story about a 10-year-old boy who befriends a creature from another planet that has been stranded on earth. A warm, insightful story of childhood innocence, frustration, courage and love. Dr. Greg Smith, assistant professor of English and a specialist in American literature and film studies, will lead the discussion.

Past is Prologue: Hitler’s boy soldiers and “Ender’s Game”
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
Presented by Dr. Shawn Hull, assistant professor of history and director of the Honors Program.

Computer Games and Violence
Wednesday, Sept. 21 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
Dr. Linda Davis, associate professor of computer information systems, explores the tie between computer games and violence, as depicted in “Ender’s Game.”

“Gifted Students and the Educational Problems They Face”
Tuesday, Sept. 27 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
Senior Ida Hoffmann and a panel of Honors Program participants will discuss gifted students and the educational problems they face. Discussion will focus on findings Hoffmann presented at the WWU Undergraduate Research Conference.

Exploring the Themes in “Ender’s Game”
Wednesday, Sept. 28 – 7 p.m.
William Woods University Library Auditorium
WWU faculty discuss the themes woven into “Ender’s Game,” including leadership, violence, ethics and the role of children.