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Friday
20
APR

How Can We Be Moved to Shoot Fictional Zombies?

18:00
19:30

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Game Lectures are held approximately once a month at the IDG and are public, open, free events on weekday evenings which bring together academics, practitioners and enthusiasts with a common love for games of any type: digital, analog, urban, free-form, etc.

About the talk:

How can we be moved by the fate of Anna Karenina? By asking this question in 1975, Colin Radford introduced the paradox of fiction, or the problem that we can feel emotions towards characters and events which we know don’t really exist. Ever since, philosophers have tried to solve the paradox and investigated how fiction might motivate us to feel emotions while not being able to motivate us to perform actions on the fictional objects and persons we feel emotions towards. In the past decennia, however, the medium of interactive fiction has shown this way of handling the paradox to be outdated. Videogames show us that we can not only be made to feel paradoxical emotions towards fictitious characters or events, but they can also motivate us to undertake actions towards them, even when we fully know they are not real. As such, they introduce a paradox of interactive fiction: a paradox of fictional emotions and actions. In light of interactive fictions such as videogames, and in a parallel to Radford’s original question, we might now ask: how can we be moved to shoot fictional zombies, when we know they aren’t real?

About Nele:

Nele Van De Mosselaer is a second-year PhD student at the Center for European Philosophy at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Her on-going thesis, titled 'The Paradox of Interactive Fiction', proposes a new approach to imaginative participation in light of interactive fiction experiences. She is a committed gamer and she is generally quite great, for a primate.