Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Absent Rules and Ideological Commitments in Video Games

14 February 2024  |  15:00  |  Seminari de Filosofia UB


Ideological, moral and political commitments in video games have traditionally been tied to the actual rules of the game: to the objects, actions and goals that the rules describe, allow and reward. However, we argue that an additional space of rules is needed to properly capture the potential ideology of a game. This is to be found in the absent rules: the rules that the game could have had but does not; the objects, actions and goals that the rules omit, prohibit and ignore. This is relevant because, in some cases, the main ideological message of a video game can emerge, precisely, from the rules that are left out. We argue that not all omissions are equal in this regard, and we offer three different criteria (Author’s-Intention, Cultural-Context and Model-Coherence) for judging which absent rules may carry ideological commitments.