Aesthetic Theory of Videogames


I am currently writing an aesthetic theory of videogames, to be published as a book in Blackwell’s New Directions in Aesthetics series. The book is an introductory examination of how gaming relates to the body of theory to be found in philosophy of the arts, and is intended for an academic and general readership. I am also concurrently working on specialised papers on the same topics.

Philosophical aesthetics has almost altogether ignored the developments in video gaming in the last two decades. This is a pity, because those developments promise to shed light on established concerns within the philosophy of the arts. Furthermore, some of the theories developed in the philosophy of the arts to account for traditional artworks find a handy application in the case of videogames. Thus my work is at the same time a development of an aesthetic theory of video gaming, and also a contribution to long standing debates in the philosophy of the arts.

I deal with such questions as the following: what is the conceptual relationship between the virtual and the fictional? How do videogames represent their fictions? What is it for a fiction to be interactive? What is the nature of epistemology and behaviour in the fictional worlds of videogames? What is a game, and how are such things instantiated in video gaming? Do the games in videogames differ to more traditional game forms? How do videogames depict their narratives, and do these narratives differ to traditional art narratives? How do videogames arouse our emotions, and what role do these emotions play in gaming? How should we address the moral qualities of gaming? Are games art?

Page last updated on: 11/05/2011