Prof. Stefano Gualeni

Prof. Stefano Gualeni

Prof. Stefano Gualeni

  M.S.(Arch.)(PoliMi),M.A.(Fine Arts)(HKU),Ph.D.(EUR)

Associate Professor

20 Triq l-Esperanto
University of Malta
My work takes place in the intersection between continental philosophy and the design of virtual worlds. Given the practical and interdisciplinary focus of my research - and depending on the topics and the resources at hand - my output takes the form of academic texts and/or of interactive digital experiences. In my work, I present computers as instruments to prefigure and design ourselves and our worlds, and as gateways to experience alternative possibilities of being.

In 2015, I released the book 'Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools: How to Philosophize with a Digital Hammer' with Palgrave Macmillan. Inspired by postphenomenology and by Martin Heidegger's philosophy of technology, the book attempts to answer questions such as: will experiencing worlds that are not 'actual' change our ways of structuring thought? Can virtual worlds open up new possibilities to philosophize?

My 2020 book with Daniel Vella, 'Virtual Existentialism: Meaning and Subjectivity in Virtual Worlds, engages with the question of what it means to exist in virtual worlds. Drawing from the tradition of existentialism, it introduces the notion of 'virtual subjectivity' and discusses the experiential and existential mechanisms by which can move into, and out of, virtual subjectivities.

One of the central themes of my work revolves around the fact that the history of philosophy has, until recently, merely been the history of written thought. I argue that we are, however, witnessing a technological shift in how philosophy is pursued, valued, and communicated. In that respect, I advance the claim that digital media can constitute an alternative and a complement to our almost-exclusively linguistic approach to developing and communicating thought.
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Philosophy of Computer Games
  • Existentialism
  • Game Design
  • Science Fiction
  • Philosophy of technology

GUALENI, S., 2021. Fictional Games and Utopia: The Case of Azad. Science Fiction Film & Television, 14(2), pp. 187-207.

GUALENI, S., 2021. A Theodicy for Artificial Universes: Moral Considerations on Simulation Hypotheses. International Journal of Technoethics, 12(1), pp. 21-31.

GUALENI, S. and VAN DE MOSSELAER, N., 2021. Ludic Unreliability and Deceptive Game Design. Journal of the Philosophy of Games, 3(1),.

GUALENI, S., March 2020. Artificial Beings Worthy of Moral Consideration in Virtual Environments: An Analysis of Ethical Viability. Journal of Virtual World Research, 13(1),.

GUALENI, S. and VELLA, D., 2020. Virtual Existentialism: Meaning and Subjectivity in Virtual Worlds. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

GUALENI, S., 2019. Virtual World-Weariness: On Delaying the Experiential Erosion of Digital Environments. In: GERBER, A. & GOETZ, U., ed, The Architectonics of Game Spaces: The Spatial Logic of the Virtual and its Meaning for the Real. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript, pp. 153-165.

GUALENI, S., FASSONE, R. and LINDEROTH, J., 2019. How to Reference a Digital Game, Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA conference 2019.

VELLA, D. and GUALENI, S., 2019. Virtual Subjectivity: Existence and Projectuality in Virtual Worlds. Techne': Research in Philosophy and Technology, 23(2),.

GUALENI, S., 2018. "HERE" - The Videogame (PC, MAC, Linux).

GUALENI, S., 2017. Something Something Soup Something (PC, MAC, Linux).

GUALENI, S., VELLA, D. and HARRINGTON, J., 2017. De-Roling from Experiences and Identities in Virtual Worlds. Journal of Virtual World Research, 10(2), pp. 1-18.

GUALENI, S., 2016. The Experience Machine: Existential Reflections on Virtual Worlds. Journal of Virtual World Research, 9(3).

GUALENI, S., 2016. Self-reflexive videogames: observations and corollaries on virtual worlds as philosophical artifacts. G|A|M|E – The Italian Journal of Game Studies, 5(1),.

GUALENI, S., 2015. Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.