The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!
The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 126 – “The Lost Episode”
If you’re a completionist like we are, you might consider 1995’s The Adventures of Batman and Robin Sega CD game a “lost episode” to the Batman Animated Collection. The charming video game consists of about 15 minutes of animated cutscenes that depict Batman voraciously pursuing some of Gotham’s notorious villains. Although the quality of the story doesn’t quite compare to the Animated Series from which it is based, the clips hold up well when examined as a whole, and lucky for us, the game allows us to revisit an important topic: Batman’s treatment of criminals. We discuss the difference between empathy and sympathy. People often think of sympathy as instrumental for human connection, and yet, demonstrations of sympathy can often create detachment. On the other hand, empathy seems to fuel connection, as this helpful video explains. Empathy involves four components: perspective-taking, avoiding judgment, recognizing the emotion the other person is experiencing, and communicating that you understand. Exercising empathy is simply harder. In order for us to connect with someone in pain, we need to connect with something in ourselves that knows that feeling. How is Batman choosing to connect with his adversaries and assailants? Is his method protective or self-damaging? Our episode ends with an empathy game to help our listeners consider qualities of empathy they would want to work on.
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