Daniel Vella




Institutional affiliation

University of Malta



Research interests relevant to game philosophy

My interest in games is twofold, focusing on the status of games as both experiential worlds for their players, and as objects of aesthetic experience. I draw on phenomenology and existentialism to analyze player experience of games as worlds, the player’s being-in-the-gameworld, placeness, embodiment and subjectivity in and towards the gameworld. I also bring aesthetic theory and narratology to bear upon the study of games as formal objects of aesthetic experience.

Phenomenology, aesthetic theory, game space, subjectivity

Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy

Virtual Existentialism: Meaning and Subjectivity in Virtual Worlds (with Stefano Gualeni). Palgrave, 2020.
“There’s No Place Like Home: Dwelling and Being at Home in Digital Games,” in Aarseth, E. & G├╝nzel, S. (eds.), Ludotopia: Spaces, Places and Territories in Computer Games (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2019), 141-166.
“Virtual Subjectivity: Existence and Projectuality in Virtual Worlds” (with Stefano Gualeni), Techne’: Research in Philosophy and Technology (2019)
“The Ludic Muse: The Form of Games as Art,” Countertext 2(1), 2016, 66-84.
“The Ludic Subject and the Ludic Self: Investigating the I-in-the Gameworld,” Ph.D thesis, IT University of Copenhagen, 2015
“No Mastery Without Mystery: Dark Souls and the Ludic Sublime,” Game Studies (15, 1), 2015


Phenomenology, existentialism, experience, virtual worlds, narrative, aesthetics, space and place, subjectivity


Daniel Vella


Game studies, literary theory