Workshop @ PCG2018: Computer Games as Laboratories of Digital Rationality

itu215 August – 2018. 13.30 – 17.00

Location: Design Lab, ITU.

Throughout the human history games served as an “explorer” of the culture. In game interactions the patterns of the main social, communicative, interpretative, gender practices were formed and transmitted. Nowadays computer games largely incur this function. They accumulate the technical capacity of culture and convert it into the mythological and ideological forms. Computer games are at the same time media (=guides) and laboratories where the new experience valuable for the contemporary époque is created by the assemblage of the technical, social and playful activities, which overpasses just the sum of the narrative and ludic elements of the game.

The aim of the workshop is to demonstrate how various sets of cultural values emerge within the computer games as the hybrids of technological, social, corporeal experience, how games become the media which transmit the cultural experience in its entity, how they produce and reproduce practices which are necessary not only in games but also in our everyday life. It is worth talking about the technical (medial) component of the value formation not only on the level of the content, but (and even more important) on the level of the form. The computer game is not considered as an object, but as a medial form that influences not only the practices, attitudes or skills, but the rationality (the reason) of the contemporary digital culture.



13.30 – 13.50 – Introduction

Alina Latypova and Konstantin Ocheretyany

13.50 – 14.10 – Apparatuses of Apperception: Hermeneutical Functions of Computer Games

Konstantin Ocheretyany

14.10 – 14.30 – Visual Ecology of Computer Game

Daria Kolesnikova

14.30 – 15.00 – Coffee Break

15.00 – 15.20 – Computer Game as a Media Archive: Chronicles of (Game) Experience

Irina Busurkina

15.20 – 15.40 – Breaks and Loops of Social Practices in Computer Games

Alina Latypova

15.40 – 17.00 – Discussion


List participants

Konstantin Ocheretyany, PhD junior grade, senior lecturer at the Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology at the Institute of Philosophy at St. Petersburg State University, scientific secretary of the Centre for Media Philosophy (the Institute of Philosophy, SPBU) and collaborator of the Laboratory for Computer Games Research;

Daria Kolesnikova, PhD junior grade, scientific researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at St. Petersburg State University and the Centre for Media Philosophy (the Institute of Philosophy, SPBU), master student at the faculty of media at Bauhaus University Weimar;

Alina Latypova, master of sociology and philosophy, junior scientific researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at St. Petersburg State University, collaborator of the Centre for Media Philosophy (the Institute of Philosophy, SPBU) and the Laboratory for Computer Games Research, secretary of the scientific seminar “Visual practices”;

Irina Busurkina, master of cultural studies at Saint Petersburg University, associate researcher in The Research Centre for Cultural Exclusion and Frontier Zones of Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RCCEFZ SI RAS).


The Laboratory for Computer Games Research (or CGRL) was created in 2013 in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) within the Centre for Media Philosophy (the Institute of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University) – one of the leading scientific schools in Russia. The Centre conducts annual conferences, edits book and holds seminars on media. The Laboratory for Computer Games Research has also conducted two international conferences (2013, 2014) on computer games and participated in the conferences of the Centre with the panels / round tables / workshops concerning the problematic of CG research. Among the main topics of the laboratory: corporeality, interfaces, identity, subjectivity in CG, computer game as a medium, language of CG, research of marginal practices as glitch art, masocore, etc. In addition, the Laboratory holds regular scientific seminar of the CGRL (organized by Alexandre Lenkevich) since 2013. In 2014 the CGRL published collective monography “Computer Games: Strategies of the Research”, in 2016 the book “Game or Reality: the Game Studies Experience”.

The Laboratory for Computer Games Research on Facebook:

Live Streaming From PCG2018

ituLocal coordinator Michael S. Debus is preparing for live streaming from the PCG2018 conference in Copenhagen next week. The unfortunate souls who cannot attend will then still be able catch the lectures and the atmosphere at this conference.

The streaming will be done via Youtube. More info will follow closer to the conference. This is the likely place that the streaming output will appear:

The Program for This Year’s PCG Conference

800px-Nyhavn_copenhagencroppedThe program for the PCG2018 conference on “Values in Games” is available.

We also have three workshops this year on “Computer Games as Laboratories of Digital Rationality”, “Ludic Boredom” and “‘Subjects’ and ‘Objects’ in Game Studies”. More info may follow soon.

As you may recall, the conference is a part of the Game Studies Triple Conference with a large program, so the visitors will get a large number of talks to choose from.

We are very much looking forward to meeting old and new friends in Copenhagen very soon!

Workshop: Ludic Boredom, Potsdam June 1.

The Digarec program at Potsdam University is organizing a very interesting workshop logodigarecon “Ludic Boredom”. The program and more information is found here. It contains contributions from several members of the network. Note that there is limited participation. From the description:

“The workshop will explore the social, cultural, and philosophical implications of boredom in relation to play and work, technology, media, and computer games with the goal of developing an international collaboration that establishes an innovative interdisciplinary research program to examine the undertheorized phenomenon of ludic boredom in depth.

Paradoxically, boredom seems to lie at the heart of the current culture of constant connectivity and productivity enhanced by digital media. Each potential moment of boredom is at the same time a possibility for monetization – advertisements, casual games, social media,and other pushed notifications, all seem to be competing for our attention, which could otherwise be suspended in blissfully prolonged recreational “Langeweile”. Boredom becomes particularly interesting in relation to play and digital games, which are supposed to serve as an antidote.”

2nd CfP: Values in Games – 2018 Philosophy of Computer Games Conference in Copenhagen

800px-Nyhavn_copenhagencroppedThe deadline for the next PCG-conference is fast approaching.  Please submit your abstract!

Call for Papers:   Values in Games

We hereby invite submissions to the 12th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, to be held in Copenhagen on August 13-14.

The theme of this year’s conference is “value in games”. The topic will connect central themes in the study of games, including questions about the importance of games in a human life, the ethical value of games, and the values communicated through games. For this conference, we invite papers that explore these and other aspects of value in games.

We welcome submissions on (but not limited to) the following questions:


  • Can games contribute to a meaningful life?
  • Is there a special value to games, distinct from other social practices?
  • What is the value of difficulty, achievement, excellence, and skill in games
  • What is the relationship of the artistic value of games to their other values?
  • How do games transform the values that normally attach to activities outside the gaming context?
  • Are games an integral part of ideal society?
  • Can games contribute to an ethical life, and in what ways?
  • How do games encode systems of values, especially in their mechanics and game-play? In particular, how might they encode biases and other problematic attitudes?
  • How can the values in games be studied?
  • What value might games have for thinking about issues of race, gender, and sexual and romantic orientation?
  • How might we justify the inclusion or exclusion of transgressive content in games (violence, pornography, racism)?
  • How do players relate to, resist, shape, or appropriate a game’s values?

In addition to papers that are directed at the main theme we invite a smaller number of papers in an “open” category.

Accepted papers will have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical issues in relation to computer games. We strongly encourage references to specific examples from computer games, as well as reference to diversity of games and game types. We are especially interested in papers that aim to continue discussions from earlier conferences in this series.



The abstracts should have a maximum 1000 words (maximum 700 words for the main text and 300 for the bibliography).The deadline for submissions is May 21st. Please submit your abstract through All submitted abstracts will be subject to double blind peer review. Notification of accepted submissions will be sent out by June 1st. Participation requires that a paper draft is submitted by August 1st and will be made available on the conference website.
We also issue a call for workshops or panels to be held on August 15th. Please submit a short proposal to the program committee chair by May 21st if you are interested in organizing an event.



Program Chair:
C. Thi Nguyen, Utah Valley University

Conference Chair:
Michael Debus, ITU

Program Committee:

Pawel Grabarczyk, Rune Klevjer, Anita Leirfall, Sebastian Möring, Stephanie Patridge, Jon Robson, John R. Sageng, Mark Silcox, Daniel Vella


Seminar: Existence and Emotion in Play

Skjermbilde-2018-05-03-kl.-17.56.17This game studies oriented seminar from the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project should surely be of interest to many game philosophers as well. Full program is available on their website. The seminar is held on May 25. From the description of the seminar:

Games have a long tradition of dealing with myths and monsters, thereby tapping into topics that are associated with how we as humans understand ourselves and our role in the world. At the same time, as games are maturing as medium, there are still challenges relating to how existential and profound topics can be implemented into games in an experientially interesting way. 

This seminar concerns games and play that tap into such issues, covering the design of games that tap into the mythical and the existential. Further, the seminar will look at the emotional impact that games can have upon us, from the awe and terror brought forward by monster play, to the emotional response that players have when encountering uncomfortable and provocative game content. The seminar also asks what we can learn from live-action role-playing games concerning how to create emotional impact and immersion in games.

Redirecting attention from how games move us emotionally to how they move the boundaries between play and gambling, the seminar will end with a presentation on loot boxes as a form of transgressive game design.

Announce Your Publications on!

downloadjournalsYou may have noticed that we have semi-regular announcement of new publications on I would like to encourage all members to submit posts about those of their publications that are of relevance to other game philosophers.

Such posts mean that others see what is going on in the field of game philosophy. It is also very useful to the author.  These posts get quite a lot of hits, and are an easy way to make people aware of your work. The posts are automatically posted to the Facebook page for the initiative, to a Twitter feed, and also sent out the subscribers on an email list.

We normally aim to announce recent papers, but many members haven’t announced any of their papers yet. So please make a post, even if the paper was published some while ago.

This is how you do it: When you log in to the system, you simply click on the +sign in the top bar, which under “post” gives you a form where you can enter text for the post. Describe the content of the article and add a picture, for example of the cover of the journal in question. Google also has a search option for images with open licences. The title should with a description of the document type, like “Journal Paper: “ or “Book: “. Make one post for each publication. The post will be sent to me for moderation.

Note that you can also post about events and other relevant news in the same fashion.

If you are working with issues related to the philosophy of games, you are very welcome to have a member profile. Just send me an email at j dot r dot sageng * gamephilosophy dot org. with a few words about your background. I may make a new post about this later on. I don’t really have much time to work on these sorts of things, but I do what I can.

John R. Sageng

Journal Article: Playing for Social Equality

ppea_17_1.coverI discovered this recently published paper by Lasse Nielsen, which should be of interest to ethics oriented game philosophers.

The abstract:

This article claims that the protection of children’s capability for play is a central social-political goal. It provides the following three-premise argument in defense of this claim: (i) we have strong and wide-ranging normative reasons to be concerned with clusters of social deficiency; (ii) particular fertile functionings play a key role for tackling clusters of social deficiency; and finally (iii) the capability for childhood play is a crucial, ontogenetic prerequisite for the development of those particular fertile functionings. Thus, in so far as we consider it a central political goal to tackle social deficiency, we should be concerned with protection of childhood play capability. This conclusion raises new insights on the importance – for global development policy as well as for welfare states’ aim to secure social justice – of protecting children’s capability to engage in playful activities.

C. Thi Nguyen is Program Committee Leader for PCG2018

thiWe are very happy to announce that Thi Nguyen from Utah Valley University has accepted the the role of program committee leader for the next PCG conference.  He will be the first US program committee leader for the PCG conference series. Thi is already a member of the steering group for the game philosophy network.

The next conference is due to be held in Copenhagen at ITU in August. It is planned to be a part of a unique collaboration scheme which involves participants in other areas in the study of games.

The program committee will be constituted shortly and it will start to work on the next call for papers. More info about the conference and the larger collaboration scheme will soon follow.