CfP: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Existentialism for Games

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University of Jyväskylä in Finland and Nordic partners call for papers and student presentations for a workshop 16–18 October 2023.

Call for Papers – Nordic Explorative Workshops

Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Existentialism for Games

Some time ago, an Innocent Bystander, after glancing through a copy of Mind, asked me, “Why do philosophers talk so much about Games? Do they play them a lot or something?” (Midgley, “The Game Game”, 1974, p. 231)

University of Jyväskylä in Finland and Nordic partners call for papers and student presentations for a workshop on the philosophy of games to be held in Jyväskylä, 16–18 October 2023.

Games are a source of fascinating philosophical issues addressed by current games research. They are also increasingly catching the attention of traditional philosophers. In a series of “Nordic Explorative Workshops” we aim to provide arenas where students and scholars in philosophy and game studies can discuss their projects. We reach out to scholars who would like to contribute to this emerging field, and to bachelor and master students writing about such issues.

Games are designed to create meaning structures for their players that derive from the fact that they are adopting a subject position within the game, in which they achieve goals, overcome challenges and act out interpersonal relationships imposed by the gaming system. A number of games scholars have used the tools of phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism to analyze such meaning structures, and the aim of this workshop is to explore these issues, though the submissions do not need to stem from these traditions.

Submitters are invited to submit proposals on questions such as:

  • What do players understand when they understand how to play a game?
  • What is the phenomenology of simulation?
  • What characterizes the phenomenal consciousness of events and objects in game worlds?
  • What characterizes the subject roles in avatar- and non-avatar based gameplay?
  • What is the nature of embodied experience in gameplay?
  • How does the notion of a world operate as a part of the player experience?
  • What is the difference between the third-person understanding of gameplay and the first-person in-game understanding?
  • What is the character of the affective experiences that are created during gameplay?
  • In what sense is acting in games action?
  • In what sense is projectuality in games different from ordinary life?
  • And other questions related to the philosophy of games.

For full paper presentations and student presentations the organisers ask for an abstract (300 words) along with a short bio (100 words). For requests for attendance we ask for a short bio (50 words) with institutional affiliation.

Send abstracts/bios to [email protected] by September 15, 2023. Notification of inclusion in the workshop program will be sent out by September 20, 2023. Send a request to the same address if you want to attend as an audience (limited participation).

Funding is available to support some of the expenses for the presenters.

The workshop is funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS). We aim to have a selection of the papers published in Journal of the Philosophy of Games.

Information about the workshop and the series:
Please sign up to the Facebook group:

Rune Klevjer (project leader)
John R. Sageng (project coordinator)
Jonne Arjoranta (program committee chair)
Maria Ruotsalainen (program committee)