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Simulating Philosophy: Interpreting Video Games as Executable Thought Experiments

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Abstract

This essay proposes an alternative way of studying video games: as thought experiments akin to the narrative thought experiments that are frequently used in philosophy. This perspective incorporates insights from the narratological and ludological perspectives in game studies and highlights the philosophical significance of games. Video game thought experiments are similar to narrative thought experiments in many respects and can perform the same functions. They also have distinctive advantages over narrative thought experiments, as they situate counterfactuals in more complex, developed contexts and present them to players who are participants in game worlds, rather than simply observers.

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Correspondence to Marcus Schulzke.

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I would like to thank Amanda Cortney Carroll and the journal’s anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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Schulzke, M. Simulating Philosophy: Interpreting Video Games as Executable Thought Experiments. Philos. Technol. 27, 251–265 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-013-0102-2

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