8th Philosophy of Computer Games

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Date: November 13-15 , 2014
Place: santralistanbul Campus, E4-305

The International 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, bringing multidisciplinary experts from a diverse field of areas such as game studies, communication and philosophy, will be hosted by İstanbul Bilgi University’s Faculty of Communication in cooperation with the Gamephilosophy Network, on its santralistanbul Campus.

This year’s theme is “freedom”, and topics such as “game design and gamer freedom,” “gamer experience and the perception of freedom,” “online games and gamer freedom,” “the representation of freedom in games in social and personal contexts” and “the relation between games and other communication media in the representation of freedom” will be looked at.

In the presentations, the relation between games and freedom will be considered in its design, cultural, sociological, philosophical and political aspects. Games will be discussed, as an art form and lifestyle, with regard to the freedom they give to gamers and to society at large.

Experts from the international arena will be participating in the conference, among them Mary Flanagan from Darthmouth College, Digital Humanities Department, Thomas Hurka from the University of Toronto, Department of Philosophy and Patrick Crogan from the University of West of England, Department of Media.

As a pre-conference activity, on November 12 there will be a panel in Studio-X Istanbul, “the Independent Game Philosophers Panel”, in which distinguished independent game designers will participate. The panel, which will be moderated by Christopher Thi Nguyen, will have among its participants Stefano Gualeni (Necessary Evil), Pietro Righi Riva (MirrorMoon EP, FOTONICA), Michelle Westerlaken, Krystian Majewski (TRAUMA) and Gordon Calleja (Will Love Tear Us Apart).

The conference was previously held in Copenhagen, Oslo, Athens, Madrid and Reggio Emilia and Potsdam. We invite all who are intrested in the development and the future of digital gaming. The conference is free for students and registration is available on http://gamephilosophy2014.org .


Mary Flanagan: Flanagan teaches at Darthmouth College’s Digital Humanities department and she is known for her works on culture and technology. She is the director of Tiltfactor game research laboratory and has books on game criticism and the social functions of games.

Thomas Hurka: Hurka teaches at the Philosophy Department of University of Toronto and he is known for his studies on games, sports and ethics; he has various publications in this field.

Patrick Crogan: Crogan teaches at the University of the West of England, Media Department and has publications on simulation, war games, gamification and techno-culture. He is a board member of DiGRA.

The 8th Philosophy of Computer Games CONFERENCE PROGRAM

November 12th

18:00 Independent Game Philosophers Panel – Studio-X Istanbul

November 13th

09:00 Registration

10:00 Opening Speech  - Prof. Dr. Halil Nalçaoğlu

10:30 Keynote – Mary Flanagan

11:30 Coffee Break

11:45 Freedom in Games: Between Fear and Boredom - Sebastian Möring (City University of Hong Kong)

12:15 <∞ min to Oasis of Happiness: Promises of Freedom and Play in Pocket Planes.
Olli Tapio Leino (City University of Hong Kong)

12:45 On the Freedom of Generating Narratives in Playing Videogames.
Daniel Alexander Milne ( Bielefeld University)

13:15 Lunch Break

14:30 Dissolving the Gamer's Dilemma
Rami El Ali (Lebanese American University)

15:00 Games and the Open World
Johnathan Harrington (University of Malta)

15:30 Against Autonomous Simulation
Andreas Gregersen (University of Copenhagen)

16:00 Coffee Break

16:15 The Fluidity of Play
C. Thi Nguyen (Utah Valley University)

17:45 The freedom of avatars
Bjarke Liboriussen (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)

18:15 Modern Action-Adventure FPS-s as Frankfurt-Type Examples: The BioShock Analogy and Its Limitations
Oliver Laas (Tallinn University)

19:00 Opening Cocktail at Santral Campus

21:00 Shuttle to Karaköy

November 14th

09:30 Registration

10:00 Keynote – Patrick Crogan 

11:00 Coffee Break

11:15 Freedom of Destruction and Grotesque Realism in Video Games
Tomasz Z. Majkowski (Jagiellonian University in Kraków)

11:45 The Freedom of Alienated Reflexive Subjectivity in The Stanley Parable
Feng Zhu (University of Manchester)

12:15 Gameness as the Experience of Cognitive Autonomy
John Richard Sageng (University of Oslo)

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00 On Freedom in Computer Games
Anita Leirfall (University of Bergen)

14:30 The pleasures of servitude in Animal Crossing
Seth Giddings (University of the West of England)

15:00 Freedom as 'Meaningful Choice': Philosophical Lessons from Video Gameplay
Jere Surber (The University of Denver)

15:30 Coffee Break

15:45 ‘Free yourself!’ An inquiry into moral life in Second Life
Katleen Gabriels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

16:15 Freedom Cry: Content-Sensitive Exploration of Transfictional Gameworlds
Krzysztof M. Maj (Jagiellonian University)

17:00 Shuttle to Sultanahmet

20:00 Conference Dinner

November 15th

09:30 Registration

10:00 Keynote – Thomas Hurka

11:00 Coffee Break

11:15 Freedom and the Ludic Subject
Daniel Vella (IT University of Copenhagen)

11:45 Between “Live” and “Tell”: The Suspension of Freedom
Marta Matylda Kania (University of Lower Silesia)

12:15 Freer Than We Think: Game Design as Autopoiesis
Stefano Gualeni (NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences)

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00  Freedom and nomos: The political ontologies of 4x (and other) games
William Huber (Abertay University)

14:30 Enstranging Play: Distinguishing Playful Subjecthood from Governance
Lars de Wildt (Leiden University Netherlands)

15:00 From Movement to Choice: Ontic and Deontic Freedom in Video Games
Ivan Mosca (University of Torino)

15:30 Coffee Break

15:45 Do Computer Games Simulate, After All?
Veli-Matti Karhulahti (University of Turku)

16:15 Felino: The Philosophical Practice of Making an Interspecies Videogame
Michelle Westerlaken (Malmö University)

16:45 Closing Remarks 

17:30 Shuttle to Karaköy