May 16, 2019

Game Philosophy at University of Malta: Virtual Subjectivity is out on Techne'

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Techne', one of the leading academic journals in the philosophy of technology, released today

Virtual Subjectivity: Existence and Projectuality in Virtual Worlds

an academic article by the IGD's Dr. Daniel Vella and Prof. Stefano Gualeni

The two are captured in the picture while celebrating the publication.

Practicing Philosophy Through Videogames: Drawing on Heidegger and Sartre for an understanding of virtual worlds

Their paper draws on the notion of the ‘project,’ as developed in the existential philosophy of Heidegger and Sartre, to articulate an understanding of the existential structure of engagement with virtual worlds. By this philosophical understanding, the individual’s orientation towards a project structures a mechanism of self-determination, meaning that the project is understood essentially as the project to make oneself into a certain kind of being. Drawing on existing research from an existential-philosophical perspective on subjectivity in digital game environments, the notion of a ‘virtual subjectivity’ is proposed to refer to the subjective sense of being-in-the-virtual-world. The paper proposes an understanding of virtual subjectivity as standing in a nested relation to the individual’s subjectivity in the actual world, and argues that it is this relation that allows virtual world experience to gain significance in the light of the individual’s projectual existence. The arguments advanced in this paper pave the way for a comprehensive understanding of the transformative, self-transformative, and therapeutic possibilities and advantages afforded by virtual worlds.


A pre-print draft of the article can be downloaded HERE!

Broader than Videogame Research Studies: Videogames and the virtual world are an important area of debate and innovation

Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology is a peer-reviewed academic journal with a focus on philosophical analysis of technological systems.

From the Existential to Language Game Philosophy: IDG a hub for Digital Humanities

The Institute of Digital Games is a hub for game philosophy, game studies, and digital humanities. Dr Daniel Vella has been researching the player-avatar relationship through existential philsophy and has presented his work on Death and the Macabre in Russia. He has also examined the role of ruins in videogames. Prof. Stefano Gualeni has written a book on using Virtual Worlds as Philosophical tools and has implemented this in practical examples such Something Something Soup Something, a linguistic game based on Wittgenstein's philosophy of language as well as a more recent game entitled HERE which serves as an exploration of indexicality. Both games are available on Nicky Case's Explorable Explanations.

Game Studies University: From Digital Humanities to Artificial Intelligence

The Institute of Digital Games is one of the leading Universities in Game Design. The 2-year M.Sc in Digital Games approaches game design from an academic and multidisciplinary appoach ranging from philosophy, narrative all the way to the technology-oriented artificial intelligence and procedural content generation. If you'd like to be kept up to date on our video game research and other events we invite you to subscribe to our Newsletter below. There is sure to be something to interest you.