Extension to CfP for the 13th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The Aesthetics of Computer Games (St Petersburg, Oct 21-24)

Dear all,

Following a number of requests, the submission deadline for the 13th
International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The
Aesthetics of Computer Games (St Petersburg State University, Oct 21-24th) has been extended to Wednesday, 14th  August 2019, 23:59 BST.  Please send your abstracts to: http://review.gamephilosophy.org

Please note that the submission deadline for workshops and panels is Sunday,
25th Aug 2019, 23:59 BST. Please email me your proposal of up to 1,000 words (excluding references): feng.zhu@kcl.ac.uk

Warm regards,

Feng Zhu,
Program Chair

Introduction to the Center for Media Philosophy and the Laboratory for Computer Games Research

The Centre for Media Philosophy and the Laboratory for Computer Games Research are glad to be a part of the Double Game Philosophy Conference and to host  the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2019.

As we are approaching the deadlines for the conferences we would like to introduce ourselves a bit.

The Laboratory for Computer Games Research emerged in 2013 in Saint Petersburg (Russia) within Centre for Media Philosophy (the Institute of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University).

Our team: Prof. Konstantin Shevtsov (head), Alexander Lenkevich (deputy head, organizer of the regular seminar of the Laboratory), Konstantin Ocheretyany (researcher, PhD), Margarita Skomorokh (researcher, game designer), Alina Latypova (researcher), Sergei Bugluck (researcher, game designer), Andrey Muzhdaba (researcher, editor of http://gamestudies.ru).

The Laboratory conducts researches based on the following topics: corporeality, interfaces, identity, subjectivity in computer games, computer games as a medium, language of computer games, counter-play and counter-gaming, glitches, masocore, etc.

Since 2013, the Laboratory holds a regular scientific seminar (organized by A. Lenkevich).

Important facts:

In 2013, the Laboratory together with a Centre for Media Philosophy organized the first Russian conference to be dedicated solely to the research of computer games: the all-Russian conference with international participation “Computer Games – the Theatre of Activity”. Other game conferences were held in 2014 and 2018 – “Computer Games as a Mode of Social Reality Constitution” and “Computer Games: Cultural Interfaces and Social Interactions”. Moreover, during 2013–2019 the Laboratory has organised various academic events, including panels, round tables, and workshops within other conferences in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Astrakhan, Vologda, Ulan-Ude, Copenhagen, Vilnius. Members of the Laboratory also participated in the international events on game studies: DiGRA 2018, the Philosophy of Computer Games 2018, Nordic DiGRA 2018, etc.

In 2014 and 2016, the Laboratory published two collective monographs: “Computer Games: Strategies of the Research” and “Game or Reality: the Game Studies Experience”. In 2019, it edited the volume on game studies in the International Journal of Cultural Research – “Computer Games: Game Design of Culture”.

 

The researchers of the Laboratory regularly publish articles concerning the analytics of computer games in indexed journals.

All the information can be found on the web page of the Laboratory: http://mediaphilosophy.ru/liki/

The Laboratory can be also followed on social media:
https://facebook.com/lab.liki/
https://vk.com/liki_lab

The Centre for Media Philosophy has been working since 2007 at the Institute of Philosophy at St. Petersburg State University. Director: Prof. Valery Savchuk; scientific secretary: Konstantin Ocheretyany, PhD. Researchers: Prof. Konstantin Shevtsov; Gulnara Khaidarova, D. Sc.; Daria Kolesnikova, PhD; Alexander Lenkevich; Alina Latypova, etc.

The Centre conducts annual conferences, edits books, and holds seminars on philosophy of media and other adjoining phenomena (visual ecology, photography, computer games, etc.). Moreover, the Centre regularly organizes various international and all-Russian conferences. We have established long-term relationships with colleagues from the Interdisciplinary Center for Historical Anthropology (Free University of Berlin), from Basel (Switzerland), Innsbruck (Austria), and Greifswald University (Germany), with the Catholic Center for Culture Semiotics and Media University of São Paulo (Brazil), as well as with colleagues from Serbia, Bulgaria, Belarus, and Ukraine. Over the past 10 years, a number of joint conferences have been held and several collective monographs have been published in cooperation with the Free University of Berlin.

The Centre publishes a book series “The works of the Centre for Media Philosophy”. Now it includes 14 volumes. The researchers of the Centre also published books and monographs on media, visual culture, the philosophy of photography, the philosophy of memory, the analytics of the mediated body, etc.

Within the framework of the Centre, two laboratories are working – The Laboratory for Computer Games Research and The Laboratory of Visual Ecology (organized by D. Kolesnikova).

In addition, a regular scientific seminar “Visual practices” is held. It emerged in 2001 due to the efforts of Prof. V. Savchuk, the organizer of the seminar. The secretary since 2012: A. Latypova.

The website of the Centre: http://mediaphilosophy.ru/
The Centre on Facebook: https://facebook.com/groups/mediaphilosophy

Journal Article: Me and My Avatar – Player-Character as Fictional Proxy

A new article is out in the online first section of Journal of the Philosophy of Games. It is written by Matthew Carlson and Logan Taylor. The abstract:

“Players of videogames describe their gameplay in the first person, e.g. “I took cover behind a barricade.” Such descriptions of gameplay experiences are commonplace, but also puzzling because players are actually just pushing buttons, not engaging in the activities described by their first-person reports. According to a view defended by Robson and Meskin (2016), which we call the fictional identity view, this puzzle is solved by claiming that the player is fictionally identical with the player character. Hence, on this view, if the player-character fictionally performs an action then, fictionally, the player performs that action. However, we argue that the fictional identity view does not make sense of players’ gameplay experiences and their descriptions of them. We develop an alternative account of the relationship between the player and player-character on which the player-character serves as the player’s fictional proxy, and argue that this account makes better sense of the nature of videogames as interactive fictions.”

Book Chapter: Playing the Nonhuman – Alien Experiences in Aliens vs. Predator

Reconfiguring Human, Nonhuman and Posthuman in Literature and Culture is a new book from Francis &Taylor.  It collects different kinds of readings of the nonhuman in literature and other media.  I have a chapter in it titled Playing the Nonhuman, which approaches the theme from the perspective of the phenomenology of computer games.

You can read the abstract below and find a copy of the whole chapter from my website.

What is it like to play a nonhuman character? In his classic essay, philosopher Thomas Nagel (1975) argues that we are fundamentally unable to imagine what it is like to be a bat, because our senses and cognition are structured in a way that is uniquely human – whereas bats’ senses and cognition have a uniquely bat-like configuration. In spite of this, media genres from fantasy to science-fiction routinely strive to imagine and show what it could be like to be something other than human. What is more, different media achieve this effect by different means: literature provides textual descriptions, audio-visual media rely on moving images, and comics employ different kinds of multimodal compositions, as discussed in the previous chapter.

In the fifth chapter, Jonne Arjoranta continues investigating these medium-specific imaginations by examining how video games portray the nonhuman, what kind of assumptions they make about being nonhuman, and what kind of tools and techniques they use to convey the (imagined) experience of nonhumanness. The analysis focuses on Aliens vs. Predator (2010, Rebellion Developments), which features three different but intertwined campaigns that allow the player to play as a human, an alien, and a predator. The game thereby evokes two playing experiences that are supposedly nonhuman, and enables direct comparison between them and the “normal” experience of playing as human. The discussion around these playing experiences is further complemented with examples from other games that present playable nonhuman characters and, like the previous two chapters, draws theoretical support from the notion of embodied cognition.

 

Video Recordings and Manuscripts for PCG2017 and PCG2018

The video recordings and the manuscripts for the PCG2017 conference in Krakow and the PCG2018 conference in Copenhagen can now be found in the archives on the gamephilolosophy site. Most of these have so far only been have been available from  sources elsewhere on the web. Many thanks to Justyna Janik and Michael Debus for having done the laborious job of creating these videos.

Please notify me of any errors. Best of luck with preparing abstracts for the upcoming double conference in St. Petersburg.

Video Recordings for PCG2017

Video Recordings for PCG2018

Conference Manuscripts for PCG2017 and PCG2018.

 

 

 

Conference: Pretend Play and E-Cognition, 19-20 September 2019

The Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp is organizing this interesting conference on pretend play on 19-20 September this year.  From their descriptions of the conference:

“E-Cognition refers to a young field of interdisciplinary research on embodied, embedded, enactive, extensive and ecological cognition. It includes philosophies of enactivism and embodiment, ecological psychology, sensorimotor theory and dynamical systems theory. It assumes that cognition is shaped and structured by dynamic interactions between the brain, body, and both the physical and social environments.”

“The conference addresses the ongoing debate between cognitivist and non-cognitivist approaches to cognition. Recently, E-Cognition has been gaining popularity, and frameworks such as enactivism have been increasingly used to understand cognitive acts as imagination or remembering (Hutto & Myin, 2014, 2017) and basic forms of pretending (Rucińska, 2016, 2017). Yet, the existing challenge to E-cognition is that it is still difficult to operationalize, as its “emphasis on holism presents problems for empirical investigations” (Gallagher, 2017, p. 21). This conference adds insight into this debate, as it seeks to explore ways of designing an empirical experiment that would include the hypotheses of E-Cognition theories.”

Journal Article: Interactive Works and Gameplay Emotions

IssuesJonathan Frome, a frequent contributor to the PCG-conference series, has a paper out on Games and Culture.

The article abstract:

Video games differ from films, books, and other mainstream media both in their interactive capabilities and in their affordances for gameplay. Interactivity and gameplay are closely related, as interactivity is necessary for gameplay. Unfortunately, this close relationship has led many video game scholars to conflate these two concepts when discussing player experience. In this article, I argue that, when discussing emotional responses to video games, gameplay and interactivity should be understood as distinct concepts: Gameplay involves both interactive and noninteractive elements, and interactive works do not always involve gameplay. I propose that there are significant drawbacks to overlooking this distinction and that highlighting it is important for understanding player experience, player emotion, and the ways video games differ from other entertainment media.

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1555412019847907

CfP: Computer Games – Interfaces of Media Reality

The Centre for Media Philosophy and the Laboratory for Computer Games Research invite you to take part into the conference Computer Games: Interfaces of Media Reality. The conference is a part of the Double Games Philosophy Conference, organized together with the Game Philosophy Network, on the 21-25th October 2019 in Saint Petersburg.

Call for papers

We invite participation from scholars of different backgrounds who are interested in researching computer games through the lenses of philosophy and media philosophy, which regards them as media that organize perception in a new fashion, distinct from both traditional media and non-digital games.

We propose that the interfaces of computer games represent “experience machines” for the modification of sensibility, thought, and imagination. Questions for the discussion include:

  • How is the gaming experience constructed?
  • Which interfaces are involved in this process and how do they influence our sensibilities?
  • How can we distinguish between the mediated, immediated, and hypermediated elements of the game?
  • Can we trace the connection between the mediators that produce the gaming experience, and the contemporary episteme?
  • Is it possible through the archaeology of vision, body, and the technical elements of computer games as desiring-machines, to find out the fundamentals that underlie the current configuration of media reality?
  • How are game elements transferred to non-game contexts or other media forms (cinema, literature, professional practices, etc.)?
  • What are the boundaries of game practices?
  • How do rules, narratives, and gameplay establish a balance between freedom and necessity, between mechanisms of emancipation and those of enforcement?
  • What are player strategies of interacting with the game: from conventional and habitual practices to counterplay (masocore, speedrunning, glitchware, etc.)?

Working languages of the conference: English and Russian.

Please submit your papers (4000-6000 words) or extended abstracts (700–1000 words) before the 15st August 2019 through games.interfaces@gmail.com.
All submitted abstracts will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.

The best papers and abstracts will be recommended for the publishing in the edition based on the conference and indexed in the Russian Science Citation Index.

All questions concerning the conference please send here: games.interfaces@gmail.com. We will try to reply as soon as possible.

Important dates

  • Submission deadline: 15st August.
  • Announce acceptance/rejection: 15th September.
  • Conference: 21-25th October.

Committee

Conference Chairs: Konstantin Ocheretyany (PhD, St. Petersburg State University), Alexander Lenkevich (Laboratory for Computer Games Research).

Organizing committee: Prof. Valery Savchuk, Prof. Konstantin Shevtsov, Alina Latypova, Margarita Skomorokh, Sergei Bugluck, Andrei Muzhdaba.

Contacts

For all questions, do not hesitate to contact us: games.interfaces@gmail.com

CfP: The Aesthetics of Computer Games – 2019 Philosophy of Computer Games Conference in St. Petersburg

 

Call for papers

The 13th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Game, organised by the Game Philosophy Network, together with the Centre for Media Philosophy and Laboratory for Computer Games Research, will be held in St Petersburg, Russia, on October 21–24, 2019 as a part of a double game philosophy conference. 

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘The Aesthetics of Computer Games’. Playing games yields particular kinds of playful experiences or perceptions through the senses, which can be studied with an aesthetic focus, emphasising aísthēsis over noêsis. Computer games can be regarded as playful media that organise our perceptions and modify our sensibilities. For this conference, we welcome submissions on (but not limited to) the following themes and questions:

1. Aesthetics as aesthesis (aísthēsis). Is there an aesthetics or mode of experience that is specific to computer games? How do their visual, audio, and haptic aspects come together to produce distinctive experiences? How are ‘experience’ and ‘perception’ explored in computer games and shaped by them? Can concepts such as ‘affect’, ‘atmosphere’, and ‘rhythm’ be productively applied to computer games? What is the role of game interfaces on player experience?

2. Games as art? What are the conditions of possibility of games being art? How do computer games fit into established categories or conventions of aesthetics, and how do they contribute to new ones? Do games recognised as having a claim to artistic status differ from mainstream games? How do accounts of art based on necessary and sufficient conditions match up against anti-essentialist accounts in terms of gauging the status of computer games?

3. The aesthetics of gaming practices. Are games collaboratively authored? How do different kinds of play, or player-game conjunctions, bring about different kinds of gaming pleasures or aesthetic experiences? How do different bodies encounter computer games and what can be said about the way in which gameplay experience is mediated by our bodies?

Do some kinds of gameplay or extra-gamic player practices have an aesthetic orientation? Are computer games performances?

4. The ethical, political, and social dimensions of game aesthetics.
What is the transformative potential of computer games and how does this compare to the transformative capabilities ascribed to artworks? How do aesthetic issues interconnect with ethical, social, and political ones – what is the autonomy or heteronomy of the aesthetic domain? How are taste, sensibility, and habit acquired with respect to gameplay and what are the social implications of this?

In addition to this central theme, the conference also features an open category, for which we invite welcome contributions that do not fit this year’s theme, but that nonetheless offer a valuable contribution to the philosophy of computer games.

Submitted proposals should have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical (including media philosophical) issues in relation to computer games. They should also refer to specific games rather than invoke them in more general terms. Submissions should be made in the form of extended abstracts of up to 1000 words (excluding bibliography). Please indicate if you intend your paper to fit in the open category. The deadline for submissions is 23:59 GMT, Sunday, 11th August, 2019. Please submit your abstract through review.gamephilosophy.org. All submitted abstracts will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.

Notification of accepted submissions will be sent out in late August 2019. A full paper draft must then be submitted by Monday, 14th October 2019 and will be made available on the conference website.

We also invite proposals for themed panels and workshops that will take place on the 20th and 24th October, 2019. Please contact the program committee chair if you are interested in organising one.

We cannot provide grants or subsidies for participants. There will, however, be no conference fee.

For more information about the conference please visit http://gameconference.mediaphilosophy.ru/pcg2019.html and gamephilosophy.org.

Program chair: Feng Zhu (King’s College).

Organizing chairs: Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University) and Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University).

 

About

The Centre for Media Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University, in collaboration with the Game Philosophy Network, have come together to organize a double conference on philosophical issues raised by computer games.

The 13th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, “The Aesthetics of Computer Games” (Oct 21-24), will explore various philosophical issues in thinking about the aesthetics of games and gameplay, whilst “Computer Games as Interfaces to Media Reality” (Oct 21-25) will address issues that spring from considering computer games to be “experience machines” for the modification of sensibility, thought, and imagination. Our aim is to provide a meeting place for scholars of media philosophy and game philosophy in order to inspire future investigations into the commonalities and differences between these approaches.

 

Program Committee:

Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University)

Anita Leirfall (University of Bergen)

Darshana Jayemanne (Abertay University)

Feng Zhu (King’s College London) (chair)

Grant Tavinor (Lincoln University)

Hans-Joachim Backe (IT University of Copenhagen)

John R. Sageng (Game Philosophy Network)

Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University)

Marc Bonner (University of Cologne)

Margarita Skomorokh (St Petersburg State University)

Mathias Fuchs (Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Olli Leino (City University of Hong Kong)

Pawel Grabarczyk (IT University of Copenhagen)

Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam)

Sonia Fizek (Media Academy Stuttgart)

Veli-Matti Karhulahti (University of Jyväskylä/University of Turku)

William Huber (Abertay University)

 

Organizing Committee

Alexander Lenkevich (St Petersburg State University)

Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University)(chair)

Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University)(chair)

Margarita Skomorokh (St Petersburg State University)

 

 

 

Organizing Committee and Host for PCG2019

It is our pleasure to announce that the next Philosophy of Computer Games Conference will be hosted by the Center for Media Philosophy and the Laboratory for Computer Games Research at the Saint Petersburg State University. It will be a part of a double conference that will serve to explore commonalities and differences between media philosophy and game philosophy.

Alina Latypova and Konstantin Ocheretyany will give an introduction to the Center for Media Philosophy and the Laboratory in a separate post.

The calls for both of the conferences will follow shortly.  

The organizing committee for PCG2019 has the following members:

Profile picture of Alexander Lenkevich

Alexander Lenkevich

Profile picture of Alina Latypova

Alina Latypova (chair)

Profile picture of Konstantin Ocheretyany

Konstantin Ocheretyany (chair)

Profile picture of Margarita Skomorokh

Margarita Skomorokh