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Interactivity, Fictionality, and Incompleteness

In Grant Tavinor & Jon Robson (eds.), The Aesthetics of Videogames. Routledge (forthcoming)

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  1. Virtual Realism: Really Realism or Only Virtually So? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures.Claus Beisbart - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):297-331.
    What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to (...)
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  • Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?Neil McDonnell & Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):371-397.
    Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers, and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce (...)
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  • Player Engagement with Games: Formal Reliefs and Representation Checks.Karl Egerton - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):95-104.
    Alongside the direct parallels and contrasts between traditional narrative fiction and games, there lie certain partial analogies that provide their own insights. This article begins by examining a direct parallel between narrative fiction and games—the role of fictional reliefs and reality checks in shaping aesthetic engagement—before arguing that from this a partial analogy can be developed stemming from a feature that distinguishes most games from most traditional fictions: the presence of rules. The relation between rules and fiction in games has (...)
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  • Glitches as Fictional (Mis)Communication.Nele Van de Mosselear & Nathan Wildman - 2021 - In Timothy Barker & Maria Korolkova (eds.), Miscommunication: Error, mistakes, media. Bloomsbury. pp. 300-315.
    Here, we focus on the underexplored fictional relevance of videogame glitches. For this purpose, we will make use philosophical theories on fiction, as well as standard suggestions about how best to deal with unintended errors within fiction. Focusing on glitches like that of Red Dead Redemption’s "manimals", we argue that glitches, more than any kinds of mistakes in traditional, non-interactive fictions, can actually have a significant influence on the fictional worlds of the work in which they appear. In particular, we (...)
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  • Don’T Stop Make-Believing.Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):261-275.
    ABSTRACTHow is it that we can rationally assert that sport outcomes do not really matter, while also seeming to care about them to an absurd degree? This is the so-called puzzle of sport. The broadly Waltonian solution to the puzzle has it that we make-believe the outcomes matter. Recently, Stear has critiqued this Waltonian solution, raising a series of five objections. He has also leveraged these objections to motive his own contextualist solution to the puzzle. The aim of this paper (...)
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  • Only a Game? Player Misery Across Game Boundaries.Nele Van de Mosselaer - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):191-207.
    ABSTRACTVideogames often confront players with frustratingly difficult challenges, fearsome enemies, and tragic stories. As such, they can evoke feelings of failure, sadness, anger, and fear. Although these feelings are usually regarded as undesirable, many players seem to enjoy videogames which cause them. In this paper, I argue that player misery often originates from a fictional or lusory attitude which brackets game events from real-life, making the player’s emotions solely relevant within the game context. As they are part of the game (...)
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  • Self-Location in Interactive Fiction.Paal Fjeldvig Antonsen - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):41-52.
    The aim of this paper is to make sense of a characteristic feature of interactive fictions, such as video game fictions, adventure books and role playing games. In particular, I describe one important way consumers of interactive fiction ‘take on the role’ of a fictional character and are ‘involved’ in the story. I argue that appreciative engagement with such works requires imagining being someone else and imagining parts of the story in a self-locating manner. In short, consuming works of interactive (...)
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