Daniel Vella




Institutional affiliation

University of Malta



Research interests relevant to game philosophy

My interest in games is twofold, focusing on the status of games as both experiential worlds for their players, and as objects of aesthetic experience. I draw on phenomenology and existentialism to analyze player experience of games as worlds, of the player’s being-in-the-gameworld, embodiment and subjectivity in and towards the gameworld. I also bring aesthetic theory and narratology to bear upon the study of games as formal objects of aesthetic experience.

Phenomenology, aesthetic theory, game space, subjectivity

Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy

“The Wanderer in the Wilderness: Minecraft, Proteus and Being in the Virtual Landscape”, Presentation at the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2013, Bergen, Norway
“Player and Figure: An Analysis of a Scene in Kentucky Route Zero”, Presentation at the Nordic DiGRA Conference 2014, Visby, Sweden
“Free-for-Itself as Player and Ludic Subject,” Presentation at the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
“The Ludic Subject and the Ludic Self: Investigating the I-in-the Gameworld,” Ph.D thesis, IT University of Copenhagen, 2015
“No Mastery Without Mystery: Dark Souls and the Ludic Sublime,” Game Studies (15, 1), 2015


Phenomenology, experience, narrative, aesthetics, space, subjectivity, identity


Daniel Vella


Game studies, literary theory