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

800px-Nyhavn_copenhagencroppedThe Call for Papers for the 2018 Philosophy of Computer Games Conference in Copenhagen is now available.

The conference will be part of a Game Studies Triple Conference, with Games Lit 2018 and History of Games 2018. Please submit, and please circulate the call!

The call is here:  https://gameconference.itu.dk/Philosophy.html

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.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURE
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 review.gamephilosophy.org. 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.

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

Program Chair:
C. Thi Nguyen, Utah Valley University
cnguyen@uvu.edu

Conference Chair:
Michael Debus, ITU
msde@itu.dk

Program Committee:

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

 

Symposium and Exhibition: Towards the Expanded Field – March 7-9, Graz.

TEF_HDA_Event_fb

Talks, Spatial audio performances & VR Exhibition
7-9 of March
Haus der Architektur, Graz

Virtual reality and spatial audio technologies bring about a new paradigm in the fields of architecture and music. While defying classification, works developed in these media extend our spatial and auditory sensibilities beyond what is perceivable in the physical world. Can we regard them however as architecture and music, or are they foreign to their origins?

Architect Constantinos Miltiadis and composer and sound artist Gerriet K. Sharma will present their investigations and exhibit works on virtual navigable environments and sculptural spatial audio. The event intends to initiate a discussion on the nature of such explorations, in parallel to the nature and future of music and architecture in the expanded field.

The event includes talks by Constantinos Miltiadis (Institute of Architecture and Media, TU Graz) Dr. Gerriet K. Sharma (Institute of Electronic Music, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Edgard Varèse Professor, TU Berlin) and Prof. Stephan Günzel (BTK Berlin).

There will also be a VR exhibition and spatial audio performances for the Sonible IKO, as well as a reading group of Rosalind Krauss’ “Sculpture in the expanded field”.

Event information and program:
Haus der Architektur [x]
Institute of Architecture and Media [x]
Poster [x]

Curated by Constantinos Miltiadis

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.

 

 

Journal Article: Freedom and the Value of Games

My article, “Freedom and the Value of Games,” is now out in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy. A post-print is also available on my website.

rcjp20.v048.i01.coverThis essay explores the features in virtue of
which games are valuable or worthwhile to play. The difficulty view of games holds that the goodness of games lies in their difficulty: by making activities more complex or making them require greater effort, they structure easier activities into more difficult, therefore more worthwhile, activities. I argue that a further source of the value of games is that they provide players with an experience of freedom, which they provide both as paradigmatically unnecessary activities and by offering opportunities for relatively unconstrained choice inside the ‘lusory’ world that players inhabit.

Book: The Aesthetics of Videogames

51TXy-vm4VL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_An important book on the aesthetics of computer games will soon be out, edited by Jon Robson and Grant Tavinor.  From the description:

“This collection of essays is devoted to the philosophical examination of the aesthetics of videogames. Videogames represent one of the most significant developments in the modern popular arts, and it is a topic that is attracting much attention among philosophers of art and aestheticians. As a burgeoning medium of artistic expression, videogames raise entirely new aesthetic concerns, particularly concerning their ontology, interactivity, and aesthetic value. The essays in this volume address a number of pressing theoretical issues related to these areas, including but not limited to: the nature of performance and identity in videogames; their status as an interactive form of art; the ethical problems raised by violence in videogames; and the representation of women in videogames and the gaming community. The Aesthetics of Videogames is an important contribution to analytic aesthetics that deals with an important and growing art form.”

 

Journal Article: Competition as Cooperation

downloadI’m pleased to announce that my paper, Competition as Cooperation, was recently published in the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. (For those without institutional access, I’ve also put a pre-print draft online for free access.)

The paper argues that, under certain very specific conditions, games can transform competition into cooperation. Other accounts have tried to explain that transformation by focusing exclusively on player attitudes – their playfulness, or their consent. I argued instead for a distributed account of transformation: successful transformation depends on not only on players having the right motivational state, but also on aspects of game design, player fit, and extra-game community.

C. Thi Nguyen

PCG2017 Workshop: New Game Definitions

 

28. November 2017

Krakow, Gołębia 16 street, room 42

385940773_1280x720The aim of the workshop is to survey different options for answering the questions “What is a game?” and “What is a computer game?” and to get a feel for future directions that reflections on these questions may take. While keeping an eye on conventional notions such as voluntary goals, play and make-believe, the workshop will explore unconventional notions like artifact roles, status functions and new roles for play. The workshop will also discuss  foundational issues for the project of defining games, such as definition types, essences, family resemblances or nominalism. The workshop is intended as a preparatory meeting, so please contact the organizers if you would like to participate in future events.

 

Program

 

10.00 Introduction

Sebastian Möring and John R. Sageng

 

11.00 On Defining  

Anita Leirfall

 

11.30 The Wittgensteinian Thesis on Defining and Game Definitions 

Oliver Laas

 

12.00 The Game as the Partner in Play: A Posthuman Approach to the  Definition of the Video Game Object

Justyna Janik

 

12.30 Games as Status Functions

John R. Sageng

 

13.00. Lunch

 

14.00  How to Compare Game Definitions

Pawel Grabarczyk

 

14.30 Self-playing games: Rethinking the State of Digital Play

Sonia Fizek

 

15.00 On the Technological Specificity of Playable Artifacts

Olli Leino

 

15.30 Common discussion

 

Discussion forum: https://www.reddit.com/r/PhilosophyofGames/

Organizers: Sebastian Möring and John R. Sageng

Grzegorz J. Nalepa is the Fourth Confirmed Keynote Speaker for the PoCG 2017

gjn2016white-mediumIn a few days, we will send notification letters to all of the authors. To make this time more bearable, we would like to share some news with you. We are happy to announce the fourth of our keynote speakers for the PoCP 2017 – Grzegorz J. Nalepa.

Grzegorz J. Nalepa is an engineer with degrees in computer science – artificial intelligence, and philosophy. He has been working in the area of intelligent systems and knowledge engineering for over 15 years.
He formulated the eXtended Tabular Trees rule representation method, as well as the Semantic Knowledge Engineering approach.
He authored a book “Modeling with Rules using Semantic Knowledge Engineering” (Springer 2017).
He co-edited a book “Synergies Between Knowledge Engineering and Software Engineering” (Springer 2017). He has co-authored over 150 research papers in international journals and conferences.
He coordinates GEIST – Group for Engineering of Intelligent Systems and Technologies (http://geist.re) cooperating with AGH University and Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. For almost 10 years he has been co-chairing the Knowledge and Software Engineering Workshop (KESE) at KI, the German AI conference, Spanish CAEPIA, as well ECAI. He is the President of the Polish Artificial Intelligence Society (PSSI), member of EurAI. He is also a member of IEEE, Italian Artificial Intelligence Society (AI*IA), KES, Polish Cognitive Science Society (PTK).
His recent interests include context-aware systems and affective computing.

Book: Perspectives of the Avatar

I am delighted to announce that my book entitled “Perspectives of the Avatar: Sketching the Existential Aesthetics of Digital Games” (University of Lower Silesia Press, Wrocław 2017) is now available.

MMKania_Perspectives of the Avatar

The book was funded by the research grant awarded by the Polish National Science Centre, and you can download it for free from here.

The main ambition of “Perspectives of the Avatar” is to sketch the existential aesthetics that explore the situatedness of the individual towards a single player digital game with avatar. The book focuses on games falling within the category of independent or art games, and builds upon an assumption drawn from existentialism; where the individual facing the world is the central philosophical concern. In this theoretical horizon, a situation can become meaningful only from the point of view of the particular being.

Marta M. Kania

 

Game: Something Something Soup Something

Stefano Gualeni has made a philosophical game that has received a great deal of interest. There is a recent article about it at Kotaku.

somethingsomethingStefano writes “Something Something Soup Something is my latest attempt at ‘playable philosophy’.  The game, if we agree to call it such, can be freely played on (or downloaded from) the official website: soup.gua-le-ni.com

It was developed at the Institute of Digital Games (University of Malta) with the support of Maltco Lotteries.

I and the rest of the developers prefer to think of it as an interactive thought experiment: a piece of technology that discloses situations and presents notions in ways that are interactive and negotiable (and maybe even playful).

Something Something Soup Something it is designed to reveal, through its gameplay, that even a familiar, ordinary concept like ‘soup’ is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively. It is also designed to stimulate reflection on the possibility to analytically define what a game is: does the presence of several ‘ludological ingredients’ warrant its definition as a video game? What if only a part of it could be formally recognized as a video game? Is it even wise or productive to strive for a complete theoretical understanding of concepts like ‘soup’ or ‘game’?”

Game duration: about 6 minutes.

Something Something Soup Something was developed in collaboration with:

Isabelle Kniestedt – Art, programming
Johnathan Harrington – Field research and additional design
Marcello Gomez Maureira – Web-design and additional programming
Riccardo Fassone – Music and sound effects
Jasper Schellekens – Narrator, research support