Hans-Joachim Backe




Institutional affiliation

IT University of Copenhagen


Associate Professor

Research interests relevant to game philosophy

My main research interest is the aesthetic capacity of digital games, particularly their inherent potential for self-thematization and -reflection. To this end, I find myself frequently confronted with fundamental questions of reasoning, cognition, and knowledge formation. Building on media history and narratology, my method generally strives to integrate a structurally sound understanding of games in their ontological complexity with in-depth studies of apparatuses and discourse formations in a Foucauldian tradition.

Publications and presentations relevant to game philosophy

– “A Redneck Head on a Nazi Body. Subversive Ludo-Narrative Strategies in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.” In: ARTS 7 (2018). Special Issue “Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling”, ed. by Darshana Jayemanne. (https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040076)
– 6. “Two Ways through the Looking Glass. Game Design as an Expression of Philosophy of Action.” Proceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2017, Jagiellonian University. https://gamephilosophy2017.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/backe_pocg2017.pdf
– 9. “Stranger in a Strange Land. Representing and Simulating Alterity in Computer Games.” Le Comparatisme comme approche critique: Littérature, science, savoirs et technologie/Literature, Knowledge, Science and Technology. Vol. 6. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2017, 371–386. (DOI: 10.15122/isbn.978-2-406-06539-5.p.0371)
– 12. “Past Time. Questionable Epistemologies of Time and Identity in SUPERHOT and Metal Gear Acid 2.” Proceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference 2016, University of Malta. http://pocg2016.institutedigitalgames.com/site/assets/files/1015/backe_-_past_time.pdf
– 29. “Age and Aging in Computer Games.” In: Revista Texto Digital 6/2 (2010), 47–64.


aesthetics, ontology, self-referentiality, ethics, Foucault


Hans-Joachim Backe


game studies, media studies, comparative literature