University of Manchester
|Research interests relevant to game philosophy||
I am interested in issues of subjectivity raised by computer games, particularly the ambivalence of the work on the self through the practices of gameplay. Although I have used the work of Foucault as a framework to consider subjectification and subjectivation, computer games also offer us a rich resource with which to challenge such Foucauldean categories and even to reveal aporias in his late work.
My PhD was completed in December 2016. Entitled 'Computer Games and the Aesthetic Practices of the Self: Wandering, Transformation, and Transfiguration', the abstract is available below.
This thesis draws on Michel Foucault’s late work on the practices of the self to ask whether the ascetic practices and patterns of action suggested by contemporary computer games, which afford players the opportunities to pursue their own self-set goals, further what might be called a ‘wandering’ away from ourselves, a ‘transformation’ or ‘transfiguration’ of what we are. If self-formation is now a terrain on which power and resistance plays out, it is critical to be able to identify pernicious practices that may bind us to the individualising techniques of power, as opposed to transformative ones that enable us to refuse who we are in the move towards freedom. Broaching this question leads to considerations of the implicit ethical foundations presupposed by Foucault’s anti-normative ethico-aesthetics, and the limitations of its appeal to a coherence or style seemingly without rules. These considerations have implications for the way in which we understand the practices of self-constitution in computer games.
|Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy||
Critical theory and video games (co-written with Graeme Kirkpatrick). The Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Games. Sageng, J.R. & Nguyen, T. (eds.)(forthcoming).
The freedom of alienated reflexive subjectivity in The Stanley Parable. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (forthcoming). OnlineFirst available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/g7cgYdT64gVksH8fgNHJ/full
Computer Gameplay and the Aesthetic Practices of the Self: Game Studies and the Late Work of Michel Foucault. ToDiGRA (forthcoming).
Narratives of self-transformation in computer games: death and rebirth in the monomyth. Gaming and the Art of Storytelling Symposium. The University of Abertay. May 9, 2018.
Computer gameplay and the aesthetic practices of the self. DiGRA UK. The University of Salford, Salford. May 5, 2017.
Computer Games and the Aesthetic Practices of the Self: Wandering, Transformation, and Transfiguration. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Manchester, 2016.
What Does it Mean to do Game Philosophy? Panel at The 10th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Knowledge. The University of Malta, Malta. November 1-4, 2016. Speakers: John Richard Sageng (University of Oslo), Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam), Feng Zhu (University of Manchester), Olli Tapio Leino (City University of Hong Kong), Marta Matylda Kania (University of Lower Silesia).
Analytical Gameplay and the Politics of Cognitive Mapping. Presentation at The 10th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Knowledge. The University of Malta, Malta. November 1-4, 2016.
Between Autopoiesis and Neoliberal Self-Fashioning: The Dialectics of Self-Construction in Single-Player Role-Playing Games. Presentation at The 9th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Meaning and Computer Games. BTK, University of Art and Design, Berlin. October 14-17, 2015
Thinking Heterogeneous Homogeneity: Jamesonian ‘Totality’ and Game Studies. Panel presentation at The 9th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Meaning and Computer Games. BTK, University of Art and Design, Berlin. October 14-17, 2015
The Implied Player: Between the Structural and the Fragmentary. Presentation at DiGRA 2015: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures – Identities. Leuphana University, Lüneburg.
Eventualisation (Événementialisation), Inevitability and Futility in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Presentation at Challenge the Past/Diversify the Future. The University of Gothenburg. Mar 19-21, 2015
The Freedom of Alienated Reflexive Subjectivity in The Stanley Parable. Presentation at The 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference: Freedom in Play. Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul. November 13-15, 2014
The Political Potential of Play and its Constitution of Subjectivities. Presentation at The 2nd Creative Intentions Conference. University of Manchester, June 20, 2014
aesthetics, subjectivity, neoliberalism, Foucault, Jameson, Rancière
philosophy, art history, media studies, sociology, literary theory, game studies