Virtuality and the Blurred Boundaries between Reality and Fiction. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

Contemporary virtual media let us interactively explore computergenerated environments. Peculiar to these environments is their ambiguous (non)representational nature: they actually exist as computer-generated representations, which might mandate their user to imagine a fictional world, or might simply be used as actual tools for real-world interactions. Current philosophical debates, however, always start from a categorization of the virtual as either real or irreal. As a result, these debates fail to address what is actually at stake in the experience of virtual media: the way in which these media complicate the relation and distinction between the fictional, nonfictional, and nonrepresentational. The aim of this project is to develop a framework that takes into account the fictional, nonfictional, and nonrepresentational aspects of virtual media, clarifies how they are related, and how their simultaneous presence influences our experience of virtual environments. For this purpose, I will critically re-examine philosophical reflections on the role of creative intentions, and appreciator interpretation and participation in the experience of representations, and specify how these need to be amended when it comes to the experience of virtual environments. In the end, I will describe not only the nature of (our experience of) virtual environments, but also strategies to deal with the (sometimes deceitful) (non)fictional status of virtually presented content.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Paradox of Interactive Fiction: A New Approach to Imaginative Participation in Light of Interactive Fiction Experiences 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

The aim of this project is to develop a theory of fiction that accounts for the imaginative experience of interactive fictions such as videogames and virtual or augmented reality games. Peculiar to these kinds of fiction is that they are interactive, as their narrative development depends on the actions of the appreciator who is granted agency within the story through identification with a fictional character. Consequently, the experience of interactive fiction is often immersive in the sense that the appreciator feels present in the represented space. Existing fiction theories, such as Kendall Walton's make-believe theory and Peter Lamarque's thought theory, discuss traditional fictions like literature, theatre, and film. As such, these theories do not explain the fact that we can be moved to act towards fictional representations. Based on a critical examination of existing fiction theories, this project will develop a theory that accounts for the interaction with fictional objects.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Paradox of Interactive Fiction: A New Approach to Imaginative Participation in Light of Interactive Fiction Experiences. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

The aim of this project is to develop a theory of fiction that accounts for the imaginative experience of interactive fictions such as videogames and virtual or augmented reality games. Peculiar to these kinds of fiction is that they are interactive, as their narrative development depends on the actions of the appreciator who is granted agency within the story through identification with a fictional character. Consequently, the experience of interactive fiction is often immersive in the sense that the appreciator feels present in the represented space. Existing fiction theories, such as Kendall Walton's make-believe theory and Peter Lamarque's thought theory, discuss traditional fictions like literature, theatre, and film. As such, these theories do not explain the fact that we can be moved to act towards fictional representations. Based on a critical examination of existing fiction theories, this project will develop a theory that accounts for the interaction with fictional objects.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)