Call: 13th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The Aesthetics of Computer Games

Call for papers

The 13th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games: The Aesthetics of Computer Games
St Petersburg, Russia
October 21-24, 2019 and

Conference Committee:

Program Chair:
Feng Zhu (King’s College London) –

Conference Chairs:
Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University) –
Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University) –

Submission deadline: 11th August, 2019

We invite submissions to the 13th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, organised by the Game Philosophy Network, together with the Centre for Media Philosophy and Laboratory for Computer Games Research, in St Petersburg, Russia, on October 21-24, 2019.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘The Aesthetics of Computer Games’. Playing games yields particular kinds of playful experiences or perceptions through the senses, which can be studied with an aesthetic focus, emphasising aísthēsis over noêsis. Computer games can be regarded as playful media that organise our perceptions and modify our sensibilities. For this conference, we welcome submissions on (but not limited to) the following themes and questions:

  1. AESTHETICS AS AESTHESIS (AÍSTHĒSIS). Is there an aesthetics or mode of experience that is specific to computer games? How do their visual, audio, and haptic aspects come together to produce distinctive experiences? How are ‘experience’ and ‘perception’ explored in computer games and shaped by them? Can concepts such as ‘affect’, ‘atmosphere’, and ‘rhythm’ be productively applied to computer games? What is the role of game interfaces on player experience?
  2. GAMES AS ART? What are the conditions of possibility of games being art? How do computer games fit into established categories or conventions of aesthetics, and how do they contribute to new ones? Do games recognised as having a claim to artistic status differ from mainstream games? How do accounts of art based on necessary and sufficient conditions match up against anti-essentialist accounts in terms of gauging the status of computer games?
  3. THE AESTHETICS OF GAMING PRACTICES. Are games collaboratively authored? How do different kinds of play, or player-game conjunctions, bring about different kinds of gaming pleasures or aesthetic experiences? How do different bodies encounter computer games and what can be said about the way in which gameplay experience is mediated by our bodies? Do some kinds of gameplay or extra-gamic player practices have an aesthetic orientation? Are computer games performances?
  4. THE ETHICAL, POLITICAL, AND SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF GAME AESTHETICS. What is the transformative potential of computer games and how does this compare to the transformative capabilities ascribed to artworks? How do aesthetic issues interconnect with ethical, social, and political ones – what is the autonomy or heteronomy of the aesthetic domain? How are taste, sensibility, and habit acquired with respect to gameplay and what are the social implications of this?

In addition to this central theme, the conference also features an open category, for which we invite welcome contributions that do not fit this year’s theme, but that nonetheless offer a valuable contribution to the philosophy of computer games.

Submitted proposals should have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical (including media philosophical) issues in relation to computer games. They should also refer to specific games rather than invoke them in more general terms. Submissions should be made in the form of extended abstracts of up to 1000 words (excluding bibliography). Please indicate if you intend your paper to fit in the open category. The deadline for submissions is 23:59 BST, Sunday, 11th August, 2019. Please submit your abstract through All submitted abstracts will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.

Notification of accepted submissions will be sent out in late August 2019. A full paper draft must then be submitted by Monday, 14th October 2019 and will be made available on the conference website.

We also invite proposals for themed panels and workshops that will take place on the 20th and 24th October, 2019. Please contact the program committee chair if you are interested in organising one.

We cannot provide grants or subsidies for participants. There will, however, be no conference fee.

For more information about the conference please visit and


We will accept submissions for workshops and panels in all areas pertinent to the philosophy of computer games. This has been a tradition of the conference series, which has used this format to gauge emerging philosophical issues. This year, we have a particular interest in the topics of ‘diversity in computer games’ and ‘the aesthetics of computer games’, but workshop and panel proposals in all areas concerning the philosophy of computer games will be considered.

We have chosen to extend the submission deadline for workshops and panels (not papers) to the 25th Aug 2019, 23:59 BST.


It will be possible for a limited number of authors to present their work via teleconferencing. If your submission is accepted and you wish to present via teleconferencing, please inform the program chair.

The proportion of papers presented in person to those presented through teleconferencing has not been definitely settled and will be more thoroughly discussed by the program committee at a later point. We hope to be able to accept as many as is viable. If the number of requests for teleconferencing exceeds the number of available places that have been decided upon, we will ask you to provide details of your situation that make it difficult or impossible to travel to St Petersburg. Individuals that are selected to present via teleconferencing will be chosen on a case-by-case basis, taking into account their circumstances as a whole.

We strongly advise presenters who wish to make use of teleconferencing, where possible, to submit their presentation as a video, which would bypass any potential connectivity issues that would threaten the presentation of the paper within the allotted time frame, and to use teleconferencing only for the Q&A section.


Further, please note that certain additional resources, some of which may be relevant for LGBT+ travellers, will be made available in the ‘VISA information’ and ‘Location’ section of the conference website. We cannot, however, verify the contents of all of these resources.

A statement regarding the selection of the location will be issued by the steering committee in the near future. This will include reflections on how as wide a variety of voices can be heard in the future on the matter of the conference location.


Please note that you may need to obtain a visa to enter Russia.

If you need a visa you should apply for it at the Russian consulate in your country or at the visa service (the most popular is VisaGlobal). All visa services have an additional fee.

St. Petersburg State University provides attendees with an invitation letter, which helps to obtain the humanitarian visa. Normally the costs of the humanitarian visa is less than the tourist or business one (for German and Polish citizens, for instance, the humanitarian visa is free if they apply for it in the consulate).

The cost of visas varies from country to country. Here is a list of some countries.

All the information concerning the visa costs and the processing time (normally it takes from 4 to 20 days, depending on the country) is available here: If you have any questions concerning visas, do not hesitate to contact Alina Latypova (

Attendees from the following countries do not need to obtain a Russian visa:

Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine:
Citizens of the countries of the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) are permitted to stay in the Russian Federation for up to 90 days without a visa.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela:
Citizens of these countries are allowed to stay in the Russian Federation without a visa for up to 90 days in each 180-day period, provided they will not be involved in any commercial or work-related activities during their stay.

Cuba, Montenegro, Serbia (with biometric passport), Thailand, Hong Kong SAR (up to 14 days), Macao SAR:
Citizens of the countries in this group can stay in the Russian Federation for up to 30 days without a visa. They are not entitled to work while in Russia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia:
Citizens of these Balkan countries can also stay in Russia without a visa for up to 30 days, but must also show tourist documents (tourist confirmation and tourist voucher) or an official invitation to immigration officials.


The Centre for Media Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University, in collaboration with the Game Philosophy Network, have come together to organize a double conference on philosophical issues raised by computer games.

The 13th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, “The Aesthetics of Computer Games” (Oct 21-24), will explore various philosophical issues in thinking about the aesthetics of games and gameplay, whilst “Computer Games as Interfaces to Media Reality” (Oct 21-25) will address issues that spring from considering computer games to be “experience machines” for the modification of sensibility, thought, and imagination. Our aim is to provide a meeting place for scholars of media philosophy and game philosophy in order to inspire future investigations into the commonalities and differences between these approaches.


Program Committee:

Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University)
Anita Leirfall (University of Bergen)
Darshana Jayemanne (Abertay University)
Feng Zhu (King’s College London)(chair)
Grant Tavinor (Lincoln University)
Hans-Joachim Backe (IT University of Copenhagen)
John Richard Sageng (Game Philosophy Network)
Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University)
Marc Bonner (University of Cologne)
Margarita Skomorokh (St Petersburg State University)
Mathias Fuchs (Leuphana University of Lüneburg)
Olli Leino (City University of Hong Kong)
Pawel Grabarczyk (IT University of Copenhagen)
Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam)
Sonia Fizek (Media Academy Stuttgart)
Veli-Matti Karhulahti (University of Jyväskylä/University of Turku)
William Huber (Abertay University)

Organizing Committee:

Alexander Lenkevich (St Petersburg State University)
Alina Latypova (St Petersburg State University)(chair)
Konstantin Ocheretyany (St Petersburg State University)(chair)
Margarita Skomorokh (St Petersburg State University)

For additional queries, do not hesitate to email the organisers using the following email address: feng (dot) zhu (at) kcl (dot) ac (dot) uk


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