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Category Archives: D. Visible

Calvino describes Visibility by saying “a story is the union of a spontaneous logic of images and a plan carried out on the basis of rational intention.” In other words, a story is carried out based on the ideas created by the imagination. Clavino mentions that he always starts a story with a meaningful image and creates it from there.

Orson Scott Card mentions in his introduction that the idea for Ender’s Game came from an idea he created as a teen about what a military school for brilliant children would be like. He created an image in his mind about what it would be like to fight in zero-gravity and zero-inertia, where there is no real up or down, only point of reference. So he created Battle School, a space station where the genius children of the future could strategize within the parameters of zero-gravity laser tag as they train to defeat a hostile alien race.

I thought the very concept of this was astounding and original. Imagine children that haven’t even hit puberty, who talk and act like adults, and that are forced to make tactical decisions that result in the deaths of men decades older than them. It’s uncanny, and yet believable in the sense that we can believe the military could do something so horrible, and we also sympathize for these poor children who will nevre have normal lives. Card created a powerful visibility in his novel of a diegesis where overburdened brilliant children save the world at the bidding of the allied military.


I think the best number/quality to signify Visibility and the spark of imagination is the number five. Macnab states that 5 represents “free-form life.” It is symbolic of man, health, love, and magic. Five symbolizes generation and regeneration, much in the same way that the creative process operates. It also symbolizes unification of the five natural elements: air, fire, water, earth, and ether.

The Visibility emblem should not only have five represented somewhere in the image, but it should be indicative of the generative process that is creativity and imagination. Good creativity doesn’t just come from a single inspiration, it comes from multiple sources, feeding into one idea. I think Macnab would agree that five is the defining trait for the flux of ideas that constitute creativity in the same way that a flux of life and cells can create more life.


I chose this logo for the card game Magic: the Gathering because it has a clear symbolism in its logo of the interlocking relationship between five elements. While its elements aren’t identical to the five Greek elements, they are markedly similar and were probably inspired by them. The elements in the card game are Life (white), Death (black), Water (blue), Fire (red), and Earth (green).

Each of these elements are a part of everyday life in the fictionalized world and the story that accompanies the card game. They each have their own philosophies but all of them are required to keep life in balance. In the fifteen years the card game has run, the number of elements has always been and will always be exactly five. Macnab would agree on this necessity, as it is crucial for maintaing elemental balance in life.

There is also an important strategy element to the card game which very much relates to the strategy in Ender’s Game. The game is traditionally played duel style, and a player creates a deck using one or more colors. However, it should be noted that using more colors becomes progressively more difficult, but that is one limit to the strategy of the game. Gameplay focuses on each player trying to defeat the other using a variety of tactics, like being aggressive, defensive, reactive, or proactive–the same way Ender took on his opponents.


For this emblem, I took my concept of five elements as being the basis of life, and I put a man-made device in the center as their combined creation. That particular device is a starfighter (taken from the cover of the novel), symbolically placed inside a star, the thing it traverses. My reasoning was that life is created from nothing, and life then creates technology from nothing, beginning a cycle of generations of creation.

In the image, each of the five elements contributes to the center of the picture, creating the components for the starfighter. The starfighter was chosen as the device because it is ultimately the one that conclues the story, as the formics are destroyed by the human starfighter fleet. This theme of generations of creation is continued in the sequels to the novel as well, as artifical intelligence comes into play as children of humanity.

Continue to E. Multiple.