Seminar this Friday/Saturday

Workshop at IT-University of Copenhagen
Friday 20th and Saturday 21th of May 2005


Computer games have become a dominant influence in modern culture, and are set to gain an ever increasing importance in the years to come. This development gives rise to a number of questions. Among these is the question how computer games challenge and affect traditional conceptions of what it is for something to be real.

The aim of the workshop is to initiate a discussion between computer games researchers and philosophers on this question: What is the ontological status of the objects and events in a computer game, and how do they relate to objects and events outside of the game? On the one hand, an answer to this question must recognize that objects and events in computer games are real in some sense. On the other hand, it must also recognize that they are not real in quite the same sense as objects and events outside of the game are. To accommodate the reality of these objects and events, we need to consider our conception of the real as such.

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“Spillets Verden” published

En route for a substantial while, the “Spillets Verden” game studies anthology is now available in any moderately self-respecting bookstore near you (if you’re in Denmark, that is).

Yours truly contributed with an article on the history of game design, entitled “Rammer for en handling” (“Frameworks for a plot”). Draft version available online.

CFP: Aesthetics of Play (Bergen)

Aesthetics of Play
A conference on computer game aesthetics

University of Bergen, Norway
October 14-15, 2005

We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the conference Aesthetics of Play, to be held at the University of Bergen 14-15 October 2005. The conference is hosted by the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, and is arranged in collaboration with Norway’s first game-art exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall.

We invite papers that address the diversity of cultural meanings as they are expressed in computer game technology and software. The notion of ‘aesthetics’ in this context is a broad one, encompassing the formal structures and audiovisual characteristics of games and game technologies as well as the wider epistemological, cultural and political dimensions of the gaming experience. Our aim is to contribute to the continued development of a cultural aesthetics of computer games, allowing us to better understand their role as mediators of cultural change. We especially want to encourage contributions that offer analytical ‘close-playings’ of particular games or genres. We invite a broad range of game-centred approaches, hoping to attract a rich mixture of highly focussed and particular investigations as well as broader more speculative work.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

– Game architectures. The analysis of formal, technological and narrative conventions of computer games
– The representations of society in contemporary game-worlds
– The epistemology of computer games
– The audiovisual aesthetics of computer games
– Theories and methods of game analysis
– Aesthetics and industrial imperatives

Abstracts of maximum 300 words should be submitted by 18 April, 2005 via the conference website

Notice of acceptance will be sent out by 29 April, 2005.
Presenters will be asked to submit the full papers by 16 September, 2005.

All papers will be published in the online conference proceedings.
For more information visit the conference website at http:/ or contact:

Eli Lea ( for practical or administrative inquiries
Rune Klevjer ( for academic inquiries