Towards a Language for Artistic Realism

Weichelt Sebastian
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Realism has been a very vague and broad concept and term regarding videogames. While many related concepts are often subject of study, like representation, presence, historical accuracy, or immersion, there still is no language that can be used to talk about realism in a productive and precise manner. However, the term and concept have been discussed and analyzed in art theory and some language exists in that field. This paper reviews perspectives on realism in art theory and analyzes their applicability to videogames. The result is a concept of counterfeit realism, the quality of how well an artwork resists inquiry of its properties. The artwork can be said to be realistic to the degree to which the inquiry is unable to detect the artwork as a representation.


Playful Practices in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Weichelt Sebastian
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This paper examines the philosophical practices of ancient Greece for symptoms of play, namely Socratic dialogues, sophism, Aristotle's idea of the perfect life, and thought experiments to find connections between rationality and play. And indeed, these practices can be identified as playful in ways that challenge Huizinga's and Caillois' definitions of play and games and point to an understanding of play as a mental activity.


Towards an analysis of virtual realism

Tavinor Grant
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

That VR media are realistic, or more realistic than other traditional forms of depictive media, has sometimes claimed to be a “common-sense” view (Murphy, 2017). Exactly what comprises the realism of virtual media is not entirely clear and needs careful analysis, however. This paper offers the beginning of a philosophical analysis of the concept of “virtual realism” as it applies to videogames and related media. The term turns out to have several different senses that though related, are materially distinct and of differing credibility. This paper will add depth and clarity to the growing literature on virtual reality media by providing analysis of a key concept that is currently undertheorized.


Fictionalism and videogame aggression

Tavinor Grant
2017 DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference

Videogames undoubtedly contain a great deal of apparent violence and aggression. This depictive content has frequently led to both public moral condemnation and the scientific investigation of the possible effects games have on aggression and violence beyond the context of gaming. This paper is not concerned with either the moral or the empirical questions of the effects of game violence, rather it concerns a conceptual problem with the analysis of in-game aggression. The frequently unacknowledged status of almost all videogames as fictions has important implications for our understanding of the content of games and the attitude of players toward it, and has proved a very poor starting point for understanding the function of apparently aggressive and violent gameplay. This paper investigates how the fictional nature of videogames affects the analysis of game aggression and violence, both undermining various assumptions of scientific accounts of game violence, but also leading to promising avenues of investigating the role of fictional aggression in gameplay.


Puzzle Is Not a Game! Basic Structures of Challenge

Karhulahti Veli-Matti
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

By analyzing ontological differences between two contested concepts, the puzzle and the game, the paper aims at constructing a structural framework for understanding the videogame and its challenges. The framework is built on three basic challenge structures: the puzzle, the strategic challenge, and the kinesthetic challenge. The argument is that, unlike the latter two, the puzzle cannot constitute a game.


The Ethics of Computer Game Design

Sicart Miguel
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Every choice implies responsibility. Responsibility implies ethical values imprinted in those choices. Computer games have been considered “a series of interesting choices” . Is it possible to think of games as moral objects? Or, more precisely: is the design of computer games morally accountable? Computer game design is the craft of gameplay, the challenge of creating a balanced and enjoyable game. In a way, computer game design is the art of creating interesting, entertaining choices. What are the ethics this activity imprints in computer games? What are the ethics of game design? This paper will argue for the analysis of computer games as moral objects because of the ethical values that can be imprinted in their design. Understanding the importance of design as a creative ethical activity, will allow the analysis of computer games’ rethorics and the ways they are or could be used for conveying engaging ethical experiences. Understanding the morality of the digital expression can show us both the ways for new expressions, and the moral being of computer game as a form of art.


In search of a minimalist game

Myers David
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This essay is a re-examination and critique of existing game definitions in parallel with the analysis of Juul. Juul’s original study revealed six basic game components; the analysis here pares these to four more definitive components, isolated in game form: rules, goals, opposition, and representation. These four components are used to construct a ―minimalist‖ game. The paper describes the implications of these minimalist game components to contrasting foundationalist and essentialist theories of games. Specific game examples are used to demonstrate how a minimalist game model might be used to distinguish among games, simulation, and play.


Family Values: Ideology, Computer Games & Sims

Sicart Miguel
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This article discusses some ideological issues related with the simulation of social systems in The Sims, proposing an interpretation of The Sims as an ideological game. This paper will focus on describing The Sims as a social simulator of a postcapitalist society: what The Sims proposes as an ideological game is a simulation of a specific set of values linked with a capitalist culture. Therefore, it can be considered not as a social simulator, but as a simulator of an ideology of modern capitalist societies. The last goal of this article is, then, to propose an analysis of the relation between rules, gameplay and ideology in certain computer game simulations.