November 27, 2019

Philosophy and Digital Games at the University of Malta - Public Game Lecture

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Dr Daniel Vella of the Institute of Digital Games, will be providing this month's game lecture and we're in for a treat since he will be presenting a version of his keynote done for the Philosophy of Video Game Conference held last month in at the State University of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Promise of Being Otherwise: Games and the Aesthetics of Self

Videogames have often promised us the possibility of becoming someone other than our mundane selves. Research on identity exploration in MMOs and other multi-user virtual worlds has framed this ‘being otherwise’ primarily in terms of being seen to be otherwise – that is, in terms of the presentation of self in a social context. This presentation aims to extend this understanding of the ‘being otherwise’ in an existential direction. Drawing on the philosophy of play of Eugen Fink and work on existential ludology in the field of digital game studies, it will make the argument that games give us the experience of ‘being otherwise’ through structuring particular comportments or ways of being for the player in relation to the world of the game.

Philosophy of Play of Eugen Fink

Moreover, the ‘doubling’ of subjectivity that Fink identifies in the activity of play – according to which the player occupies her role within the game while retaining her subjectivity as an individual outside the game – makes it possible for the player to stand in an aesthetic relation to her own in-game being. Finally, this will be qualified through a highlighting of the liberal ideologies of subjectivity that, in the first place, underpin the idea of games and play as techniques for ‘being otherwise.’ A quick introduction to the research of Dr. Daniel Vella into 'being otherwise' can be found in the THINK article, Transcendence Through Play.

About Dr. Daniel Vella - Game Studies, Player Experience, and Narrative in Games

Dr. Daniel Vella is a lecturer at the Institute of Digital Games at the University of Malta, where he teaches classes in digital game studies, player experience and narrative in games. His research interests including the phenomenology of player experience, aesthetic theory and digital games, subjectivity and identity in virtual worlds, and narrativity and fictionality in games. His work has been published in a number of international journals, including Game Studies, Countertext and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. He is a member of the Game Philosophy Network, a research community at the intersection of philosophy and digital game studies, and chaired the tenth edition of the International Conference in the Philosophy of Computer Games.

The Game Seminar Series: All facets of digital games

The Game Seminar Series (GSS) are special academically oriented lectures that are held approximately once a month at the Institute of Digital Games. They are open to the public, but targeted to give University of Malta students supplementary information and update them on current research in the field. Research and education doesn't happen in silos, especially not in the multi-disciplinary field of game design. The Seminars bring together academics, practitioners and enthusiasts with a common love for games of any type: digital, analog, urban, free-form, and can range from the highly technological to the extremely philosophical. There is sure to be something to interest you. If you'd like to be kept up to date on our GSS and other events we invite you to subscribe to our Newsletter.