Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2016 Call for Papers

November 1 – 4, 2016

We invite scholars in any field of studies who take a professional interest in the relation between philosophy and computer games to submit papers to the 10th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, to be held in Malta, November 1 – 4, 2016.

This year’s edition focuses on the theme of Knowledge. Games inspire curiosity – as we explore and experiment with a game, our engagement is to a great degree shaped by epistemic processes of inquiry and discovery. What knowledge is learned through playing a game? What does it mean to know a game? We invite papers tackling questions related to epistemology, knowing how versus knowing that, embodied knowledge, normative knowledge of rules, ecological knowledge and affordances, cybernetics, systems theory and knowledge.

We look forward in particular to receiving contributions that address the following areas of inquiry, though we are also open to contributions that identify different angles from which to engage with the topic of knowledge of games:

  1. Inquiry, discovery, exploration and experimentation. Is an attitude of curiosity intrinsic to play? Do epistemic processes of inquiry and discovery shape play? How do exploration and experimentation in games reflect, or depart from, the empirical processes by which we gain experience of the world?
  2. The epistemology of play. What do we know when we ‘know’ how to play a game? What modes of knowledge pertain to games? What rational concepts shape our experience of a game? Is the unknown, or the unknowable, a factor in games?
  3. Knowledge through games. Can games and game design grant us extrinsic knowledge, and add to what we know about the world – as simulations, or as ontological, phenomenological or epistemological thought experiments?
  4. (Philosophical) knowledge of games. As this conference series reaches its milestone tenth edition, it is time to take a self-reflexive look at its motivations and accomplishments. What knowledge do we seek to gain by thinking about (and with) games from a philosophical perspective? What epistemic methodologies can we employ to do so?

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 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 extended deadline for submissions is 23:59 GMT, Friday, June the 10th 2016. 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 mid-July 2016. A full paper draft must then be submitted by Monday 17 October 2016 and will be made available on the conference website. Accepted submissions will be also be eligible for consideration for a special issue of the Journal of the Philosophy of Games on the topic of Knowledge and Games.

We also invite proposals for themed panels and workshops that will take place on the 1st November. Please contact the program committee chair if you are interested in organizing one.

In conjunction with the conference, a PhDconsortium is being organized by the Institute of Digital Games at the University of Malta. This will give doctoral students working on research related to the intersection of philosophy and games the opportunity to present their works-in-progress and ongoing research, and obtain feedback from a panel of mentors. If you are a doctoral student interested in participating in the workshop, please contact the organizers of the workshop at Note that participating in the PhD workshop does not exclude you from submitting an abstract to the main conference.

The authors of accepted abstracts are kindly asked use the following template for the submission of their final paper (odtdoc).

For more information about the conference series, go to 

For additional queries, do not hesitate to email the organizers using the following email address: daniel (dot) m (dot) vella (at) um (dot) edu (dot) mt


Organizing Committee

Chair: Dr. Stefano Gualeni

University of Malta - Institute of Digital Games

Prof. Ivan Callus

University of Malta - Department of English

Prof. Claude Mangion

University of Malta - Department of Philosophy

Dr. Daniel Vella

University of Malta - Institute of Digital Games

Dr. Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone

University of Kent / University of Malta

Francesca Borg Taylor-East

University of Malta - Institute of Digital Games

Johnathan Harrington

University of Malta

Geraldine Sammut

University of Malta

David Chircop

University of Malta

Marcello A. Gómez Maureira

University of Malta

Program Committee

Chair: Dr. Daniel Vella

University of Malta - Institute of Digital Games

John Richard Sageng

University of Oslo

Dr. Sebastian Möring

University of Potsdam

Dr. Stefano Gualeni

University of Malta - Institute of Digital Games

Dr. Olli Tapio Leino

City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Alison Gazzard

University College London

Dr. Christopher Thi Nguyen

Utah Valley University

Prof. Anita Leirfall

University of Bergen