CFP: Agency and Reasoning in Games, University of Maine

Submission deadline: July 1, 2024

Conference date(s):
September 27, 2024 - September 28, 2024

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Maine
Orono, United States

Topic areas


Call for Papers: Agency and Reasoning in Games

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Maine calls for papers for a workshop on the philosophy of games to be held on campus in Orono, Maine on September 27-28, 2024.

Games are often praised as spaces to explore ways of life that might be different from our own: whether that be by taking on different identities in games, learning through the setting or narrative of a game, or through building communities and relationships with others that would not be accessible outside of the game. In addition, academic and philosophical interest in games has grown considerably, touching on questions related to the aesthetic value of games, the ethics of gaming, and the relation between player and game character.

The aim of this workshop in the philosophy of games is to provide a space for discussion of how games can play a role in helping players explore, experiment, and reason in ways that are unique or well-suited to games (including video games, board games, role-playing games, party games, etc.). We invite submissions on related topics, broadly understood, which might include (but are not limited to):

·      The value of games in reasoning: In what ways do games enable us to develop skills and good habits of reasoning? In what ways can they serve as tools for exploring decisions and outcomes?

·      Moral development through games: In what ways can playing games lead to better lives or the development of moral virtue or moral learning? Can reasoning about ethical dilemmas or making moral choices in games affect or inform our own personal moral commitments?

·      The relation between play and use of a game: Might use of a game as a tool for learning or as a means of expressing a particular message undermine its use for play? Or is play compatible with such uses of games for purposes over and above play?

·      Gamification: How should we think of the dangers and benefits of attempts to affect our reasoning and choices via gamification of daily practice? In what ways does gamification affect reasoning and evaluation of that reasoning?

·      Player and fictional player: What is the relation between player and character in games? How should we think of choice and our actions in games where there is no associated player character? In what ways can our identification with a character in a game affect our identities outside of that game?

·      Responsibility in games: In what sense are we responsible for our choices and their outcomes in games? In what sense are we morally responsible for partaking in games or gaming communities that have problematic aspects?

·      The ethics of fantasy: When does reasoning and choice in fictional settings affect our reasoning and choice outside of the game? How do we determine when that “bleed over” is fruitful and when is it harmful? When is it wrong to pursue choices and actions in a game we would not endorse in other contexts and when is it permissible?

·      Teaching with games: Are there unique pedagogical features of games when it comes to teaching reasoning, decision-making, philosophy, or other material? In what ways can participation in a game increase learning and in what ways might it be detrimental?

For consideration, please submit a short abstract (max 500 words) with a short bio (max 100 words) to [email protected] by July 1st, 2024. Please include the name of the title of your paper in the body of your email. Accepted papers will be given 30-minutes for presentation followed by a 20-minute Q&A. The conference will take place entirely in person. There may be limited resources in the form of small stipends to help defray associated costs. Please flag in your submission if such funds would be required or helpful in your participating, and preference will be given to junior scholars. If you have questions about the conference, contact Robby Finley, [email protected].

Submission Deadline: July 1st, 2024

Notification by: July 8th, 2024

Date: Sept. 27-28th, 2024


Robby Finley, University of Maine

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