Prof. Stefano Gualeni, Associate Professor at the University of Malta’s Institute of Digital Games, is among the scholars whose work was published in the very well-respected journal, Science Fiction Film & Television Journal.
He wrote the paper titled ‘Fictional Games and Utopia: The Case of Azad’, where he introduces the notion of Fictional Games – or playful activities and ludic artefacts that were conceptualised to be part of fictional words. These games were not originally meant to be played, and they can function as utopian devices.
Within the academic field of game studies, aspirations of games to elicit transformations, both on an individual level and on a social scale, have been analysed from a number of perspectives.
Whilst the first half of this article provides an initial articulation of the utopian potential of such games, the second half analyses one sci-fi game in particular, the game of Azad, which is elaborated on in Iain M. Bank’s 1988 novel, The Player of Games.
The topic is also the focus of his upcoming book, being co-written with Dr Riccardo Fassone, from the Universita’ degli Studi di Torino.
The pre-print version of his paper can be read via his personal website.