Nele Van de Mosselaer




Institutional affiliation

University of Antwerp



Research interests relevant to game philosophy

My research treats videogames as interactive fictions and investigates what the interactive fiction experience can tell us about the relation between fiction, imagination, emotions, and actions. The problem I focus on is that of the paradox of fiction: how can we be emotionally moved by characters and events we know to be fictional? The solutions to this paradox within the philosophy of fiction are often specifically formulated to account for the experience of literature, theatre, and film. My aim is to examine whether they can also explain videogame players’ experiences. Moreover, when applying the paradox of fiction to videogames, another question arises: how can we be moved to act by objects we know to be fictional? I investigate this paradox of interactive fiction to see how existing theories about imagination and fiction might have to be rethought to account for interactive fiction experiences.

Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy

Van de Mosselaer, Nele and Nathan Wildman. 2021. “Glitches as Fictional (Mis)Communication.” In Miscommunication: Error, Mistakes, and the Media, Barker, T. and Korolkova, M. (eds.). Bloomsbury.

Van de Mosselaer, Nele. 2020. “Imaginative Desires and Interactive Fiction: On Wanting to Shoot Fictional Zombies.” British Journal of Aesthetics 60.3, pp. 241-251.

Van de Mosselaer, Nele. 2019. “Only a Game? Player Misery Across Game Boundaries.” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport,

Van de Mosselaer, Nele. 2018. “Fictionally Flipping Tetrominoes? Defining the Fictionality of a Videogame Player’s Actions.” Journal of the Philosophy of Games 1.1.

Van de Mosselaer, Nele. 2018. How Can We Be Moved to Shoot Zombies? A Paradox of Fictional Emotions and Actions in Interactive Fiction. Journal of Literary Theory 12.2, pp. 279-299.


Fiction, imagination, emotion, action, interactivity


Nele Van de Mosselaer