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Title: A dialogue concerning 'doing philosophy with and within computer games' - or : twenty rainy minutes in Krakow
Authors: Westerlaken, Michelle
Gualeni, Stefano
Keywords: Video games
Video games -- Design
Video games -- Philosophy
Issue Date: 2017-11-01
Citation: Westerlaken, M., & Gualeni, S. (2017). A dialogue concerning 'doing philosophy with and within computer games' - or : twenty rainy minutes in Krakow. 2017 Philosophy of Computer Games Conference , Krakow.
Abstract: In Davis Baird’s view, building – meaning doing, constructing as a heuristic practice – offers an opportunity to correct the discursive and linguistic bias of the humanities. [1] According to this view, we should be open to pursuing and communicating scholarship through designed artefacts, whether digital or not. It implies the idea that language is ill-equipped to deal with entire classes of knowledge that participate to humanistic inquiry [2, p. 78]. Following Baird, Ian Bogost similarly discusses the activity of constructing artifacts as a viable and much neglected philosophical practice that “entails making things that explain how things make their world” [3, p. 93] In a way that is perhaps better exemplified by academic fields that involve practice-based research or research through design, scholarly approaches that involve practical activities and various degrees of ‘action’ are becoming progressively more visible. Despite a growing interest in proposing and exemplifying the use of (playful) interactive digital environments as tools for philosophical enquiry and dissemination, what we mean when we talk about ‘doing philosophy’ with and within the digital medium remains largely undertheorized. Our interdisciplinary academic community invites a number of philosophical approaches and contributions to its ongoing discussions concerning computer games and philosophy. Year after year, we have interpreted and used verbs like acting, interacting, doing, or practicing in various ways, with various meanings, and for a number of often-divergent philosophical scopes [4]. With the objective of highlighting those ambiguities, our paper makes use of the literary format of the philosophical dialogue (similar - in terms of literary style - to the work of Socrates or Galileo Galilei). With this contribution, we propose a number of different perspectives to explore the following questions: how do computer games contribute to philosophical inquiry, and what does it mean to “do philosophy” with and within computer games? Our goal is that of bringing to the fore the fact that what we understand as philosophy, its methods and scopes, has a determining but often unnoticed role in the modus operandi of our community.
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