Call for Presentations: Perception in Games and Virtual Worlds

Seminar in Athens, Greece: 01-02 September, 2022.

The Norwegian Institute in Athens


Both traditional games and games that take place in virtual environments rely on play-states that are essentially designed around perceptual features that play crucial roles in aiding how the player is acting in the gaming environment. This is apparent by the fact that they prominently rely on phenomenal spatial structures, but also by a variety of perceptual roles that enter into elements like storytelling, sound, kinesthetic feedback and immersive design. 

How should we understand the character of perception in games and virtual environments?  While normal perception registers ordinary perceptual properties, players perceive objects and properties imposed by images, rules, symbols and ludic context. In the perception of virtual worlds, the user is not perceiving ordinary objects, but rather images and symbols designed to instil imagination and to convey semantic contents. In traditional games the players perceive objects and properties determined by rules and play. 

In this workshop we aim to discuss questions that pertain to perceptual content and its relationship with player action.

Among the questions we wish to explore are:

  • Is perception in virtual worlds veridical? Is it appropriate to talk of perception in virtual worlds?
  • Do we perceive game properties?
  • How should we understand subjectivity and perception mediated by avatars?
  • How do cultural and ideological frames shape perceptual experience?
  • How does the reality status of objects and properties affect the characterization of perceptual content?
  • What are the phenomenal characteristics of gaming experiences?
  • How is narrative, fictional worlds and gaming structured around perceptual states?
  • How is imagination, make-believe and fantasy related to perception in games?
  • In what manners are perceptual schema like space, time, objecthood and modality utilized in gaming?
  • What is the relationship between inference and perceptual content in games?
  • How do we perceive affordances in games?
  • Can the perceptual content of games be analyzed as “seeing as”?
  • What are the phenomenal characteristics of perceptual experiences that are distinctive to ludic environments?
  • How should we characterize the consciousness that accompanies perception of games and virtual environments?

Contributions from different scholarly approaches are welcome, such as game studies, cognitive science, enactivist perception theory, phenomenology, fiction theory, media philosophy, and classic philosophies of perception.

To establish a common frame of reference, three existing articles on the topic will be distributed for common reading. Please submit an abstract (max 3000 characters) in this form: and send a copy to by August 1.  The participants will be required to submit a 1-2 page synopsis for circulation right before the seminar. We highly appreciate presentations that can be submitted as papers to the Journal of the Philosophy of Games, but the participants are free to publish their work where they want.

The seminar is organized by Game Philosophy Network, Cultural Informatics, Data and Computational Cultural Studies Lab [CID-CCS Lab] at Panteion University, and the Department of Philosophy and Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Organizing Committee: Anita Leirfall, Elina Roinioti, John R. Sageng and Rune Klevjer.