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Stefano Gualeni
University of Malta
  1. Artificial Beings Worthy of Moral Consideration in Virtual Environments: An Analysis of Ethical Viability.Stefano Gualeni - 2020 - Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 13 (1).
    This article explores whether and under which circumstances it is ethically viable to include artificial beings worthy of moral consideration in virtual environments. In particular, the article focuses on virtual environments such as those in digital games and training simulations – interactive and persistent digital artifacts designed to fulfill specific purposes, such as entertainment, education, training, or persuasion. The article introduces the criteria for moral consideration that serve as a framework for this analysis. Adopting this framework, the article tackles the (...)
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  2. Virtual Subjectivity: Existence and Projectuality in Virtual Worlds.Daniel Vella & Stefano Gualeni - 2019 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 23 (2):115-136.
    This paper draws on the notion of the ‘project,’ as developed in the existential philosophy of Heidegger and Sartre, to articulate an understanding of the existential structure of engagement with virtual worlds. By this philosophical understanding, the individual’s orientation towards a project structures a mechanism of self-determination, meaning that the project is understood essentially as the project to make oneself into a certain kind of being. Drawing on existing research from an existential-philosophical perspective on subjectivity in digital game environments, the (...)
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  3.  63
    Ludic Unreliability and Deceptive Game Design.Stefano Gualeni & Nele Van de Mosselaer - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 3 (1):1-22.
    Drawing from narratology and design studies, this article makes use of the notions of the ‘implied designer’ and ‘ludic unreliability’ to understand deceptive game design as a specific sub-set of transgressive game design. More specifically, in this text we present deceptive game design as the deliberate attempt to misguide players’ inferences about the designers’ intentions. Furthermore, we argue that deceptive design should not merely be taken as a set of design choices aimed at misleading players in their efforts to understand (...)
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  4. A Theodicy for Artificial Universes: Moral Considerations on Simulation Hypotheses.Stefano Gualeni - 2021 - International Journal of Technoethics 12 (1):21-31.
    ‘Simulation Hypotheses’ are imaginative scenarios that are typically employed in philosophy to speculate on how likely it is that we are currently living within a simulated universe as well as on our possibility for ever discerning whether we do in fact inhabit one. These philosophical questions in particular overshadowed other aspects and potential uses of simulation hypotheses, some of which are foregrounded in this article. More specifically, “A Theodicy for Artificial Universes” focuses on the moral implications of simulation hypotheses with (...)
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  5. The Experience Machine: Existential Reflections on Virtual Worlds.Stefano Gualeni - 2016 - Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 9 (3).
    Problems and questions originally raised by Robert Nozick in his famous thought experiment ‘The Experience Machine’ are frequently invoked in the current discourse concerning virtual worlds. Having conceptualized his Gedankenexperiment in the early seventies, Nozick could not fully anticipate the numerous and profound ways in which the diffusion of computer simulations and video games came to affect the Western world. -/- This article does not articulate whether or not the virtual worlds of video games, digital simulations, and virtual technologies currently (...)
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  6.  36
    Existential Ludology and Peter Wessel Zapffe.Stefano Gualeni & Daniel Vella - 2021 - In Victor Navarro-Remesal & Oliver Perez-Latorre (eds.), Perspectives on the European Videogame. Amsterdam (The Netherlands): Amsterdam University Press. pp. 175-192.
    A relatively common approach in game studies understands gameworlds as constituting an existential situation for the player. Taking that stance, which is rooted in the European philosophical tradition of Existentialism, in this chapter we investigate the relationships and similarities between our existence within and without gameworlds. To do so, we first provide a review of existing literature in ‘existential ludology’ - work in game studies which considers our engagement with gameworlds from an existential perspective. In the second part of the (...)
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  7.  29
    Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools - How to Philosophize with a Digital Hammer.Stefano Gualeni - 2014 - Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.
    What is it like to be a human being in a simulated world? Will experiencing worlds that are not “actual” change our way of structuring thought? Can virtual worlds open up new possibilities for philosophizing? -/- Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools tries to answer those questions from a perspective that is informed and inspired by the philosophy of technology, media theory and the design of digital games. Despite being presented here in a form that is almost exclusively textual, its contents (...)
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  8. Self-Reflexive Videogames: Observations and Corollaries on Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Artifacts.Stefano Gualeni - 2016 - G.A.M.E. - The Italian Journal of Game Studies 5 (1).
    Self-reflexive videogames are videogames designed to materialize critical and/or satirical perspectives on the ways in which videogames themselves are designed, played, sold, manipulated, experienced, and understood as social objects. This essay focuses on the use of virtual worlds as mediators, and in particular on the use of videogames to guide and encourage reflections on technical, interactive, and thematic conventions in videogame design and development. Structurally, it is composed of two interconnected parts: -/- 1) In the first part of this essay, (...)
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  9. Virtual World-Weariness: On Delaying the Experiential Erosion of Digital Environments.Stefano Gualeni - 2019 - In A. Gerber & U. Goetz (eds.), The Architectonics of Game Spaces: The Spatial Logic of the Virtual and its Meaning for the Real. Bielefeld: Transcript. pp. 153-165.
    A common understanding of the role of a game developer includes establishing (or at least partially establishing) what is interactively and perceptually available in (video)game environments: what elements and behaviors those worlds include and allow, and what is – instead – left out of their ‘possibility horizon’. The term ‘possibility horizon’ references the Ancient Greek origin of the term ‘horizon’, ὄρος (oros), which denotes a frontier – a spatial limit. On this etymological foundation, ‘horizon’ is used here to indicate the (...)
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  10. De-Roling from Experiences and Identities in Virtual Worlds.Stefano Gualeni - 2017 - Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 10 (2).
    Within dramatherapy and psychodrama, the term ‘de-roling’ indicates a set of activities that assist the subjects of therapy in ‘disrobing’ themselves from their fictional characters. Starting from the psychological needs and the therapeutic goals that ‘de-roling’ techniques address in dramatherapy and psychodrama, this text provides a broader understanding of procedures and exercises that define and ease transitional experiences across cultural practices such as religious rituals and spatial design. After this introductory section, we propose a tentative answer as to why game (...)
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  11.  9
    Fictional Games and Utopia: The Case of Azad.Stefano Gualeni - 2021 - Science Fiction Film and Television 14 (2):187-207.
    ‘Fictional games’ are playful activities and ludic artefacts that were conceptualised to be part of fictional worlds. These games cannot – or at least were not originally meant to – be actually played. This interdisciplinary article discusses fictional games, focusing on those appearing in works of sf. Its objective is that of exploring how fictional games can function as utopian devices. Drawing on game studies, utopian studies, and sf studies, the first half of the article introduces the notion of fictional (...)
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  12.  96
    Old Lies, New Media A Review of "A Defense of Simulated Experience: New Noble Lies" by Mark Silcox. [REVIEW]Nele Van de Mosselaer & Stefano Gualeni - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 2 (1).
  13. Augmented Ontologies or How to Philosophize with a Digital Hammer.Stefano Gualeni - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (2):177-199.
    Could a person ever transcend what it is like to be in the world as a human being? Could we ever know what it is like to be other creatures? Questions about the overcoming of a human perspective are not uncommon in the history of philosophy. In the last century, those very interrogatives were notably raised by American philosopher Thomas Nagel in the context of philosophy of mind. In his 1974 essay What is it Like to Be a Bat?, Nagel (...)
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  14.  17
    A Dialogue Concerning ‘Doing Philosophy with and Within Computer Games’ – Or: Twenty Rainy Minutes in Krakow.Michelle Westerlaken & Stefano Gualeni - 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 International Conference of the Philosophy of Computer Games.
    ‘Philosophical dialogue’ indicates both a form of philosophical inquiry and its corresponding literary genre. In its written form, it typically features two or more characters who engage in a discussion concerning morals, knowledge, as well as a variety of topics that can be widely labelled as ‘philosophical’. Our philosophical dialogue takes place in Krakow, Poland. It is a rainy morning and two strangers are waiting at a tram stop. One of them is dressed neatly, and cannot stop fidgeting with his (...)
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  15.  1
    Situated Knowledges Through Game Design : A Transformative Exercise with Ants.Michelle Westerlaken & Stefano Gualeni - unknown
    The increasing body of knowledge in fields like animal ethology, biology, and technology has not necessarily led to the improvement of animal welfare. On the contrary, it has enabled humans to exploit animals more functionally and on increasing scales of magnitude. Building on approaches that stem from posthumanism and critical animal studies, we argue that instead of aiming for more general production of scientific knowledge, what is needed to counter exploitation and oppression is an increased sensitivity towards animals that arises (...)
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