CFP: The Philosophy of Computer Games

The next Philosophy of Computer Games Conference  will be at Athens, Greece, on April 6th-9th 2011. Call for Papers is below:

We hereby invite scholars in any field of studies who take a professional interest in the phenomenon of computer games to submit papers to the international conference “The Philosophy of Computer Games 2011″, to be held in Athens, Greece, on April 6th-9th 2011.

Accepted papers will have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical issues in relation to computer games. They will also attempt to use specific examples rather than merely invoke “computer games” in general terms. The over-arching theme of the conference is Player Identity. Papers are encouraged to explore one of the following topics and invited speakers will focus on this area. On the other hand, this is not the sole domain the conference will cover and submissions dealing with other relevant aspects of game philosophy are also welcome.

Player-Avatar Identity

In describing gameplay there seems to be a presumed identity-relation between the player and her avatar. What an avatar does can be taken to be what the player does, and what happens to the avatar can be taken to happen to the player. This presumption even makes it possible for a player to point to her avatar and claim “that is me”.

What is the nature of the reported identity-relation between player and avatar either as a cognitive relation (such as the construction of one’s self-image and projected intentionality), as a form of embodiment or as a metaphysical relation capable of directly extending personal identity to the avatar?

Identity and Conceptions of the Self

Modern philosophy offers various models and critiques of the self (and the ‘other’) through the work of Descartes, Husserl, Wittgenstein etc. Computer games – explicitly as well as implicitly – adopt these models and offer interactive representations of self-models that can be acted out and thereby evaluated.

What are the affinities between such philosophical models of the self and the structural elements of computer games? Do the models express or contradict the structures?

Identity and Immersion

Issues of identity in virtual environments, and consequently in digital games, have been discussed primarily from the perspective of the opportunities for formation, experimentation and expression of social identity. These discussions importantly highlight the role that games play in re-writing identity through digital gameplay. The focus here is on the presentation of self to others in a virtual environment. This addresses one aspect of immersion, namely the increased sense of inhabiting the environment by virtue of others being aware of the player within the environment.

We invite papers on a second, equally important aspect of immersion-as-habitation: the effect that this sense of habitation of virtual environments has on the self. What is the influence on player identity of absorbing into consciousness a game-world and its inhabitants?

Identity, Artifacts and Memory

Recent philosophical (and technological) studies of ontologies for digital documentation and archiving practices connected with the coding and verification of personal, collective, artefactual and other cultural identities make it of pressing interest to examine the role of gameplay activities and digital artefacts that represent new forms of cultural capital. These can be viewed as traces of an ongoing narrative construction of individual and collective memories and identities deposited in game worlds.

How is the construction, during gameplay, of individual and collective gameplay identities, memories and forms of gaming capital, related to eventual digital artefacts that derive from such activities?

Your abstract should not exceed 1000 words including bibliography. If your submission falls under one of the four headings, please indicate which one.

Deadline for submissions is 17.00 GMT, February 1st, 2011. Send your abstract to

All submitted abstracts will be subject to double blind peer review, and the program committee will make a final selection of papers for the conference on the basis of this. A full paper draft must then be submitted by March 31st and will be made available on the conference website. There will be an opportunity to revise the paper after the conference.

Notification of accepted submissions will be sent out by March 1st, 2011.

Gordon Calleja

John Richard Sageng

Patrick Coppock

Seth Giddings

Stephan Günzel

Ian Bogost

Anita Leirfall

More information can be found on the conference site at

Published by lankoski

Petri Lankoski, D.Arts, is a Associate Professor in Game Studies at the school of Communication, Media and IT at the Södertörn University, Sweden. His research focuses on game design, game characters, role-playing, and playing experience. Petri has been concentrating on single-player video games but researched also (multi-player) pnp and live-action role-playing games. This blog focuses on his research on games and related things.

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