Virtual Subjectivities and the Existential Significance of Virtual Worlds



Drawing upon the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and upon work on ‘existential ludology’ in game studies, this chapter introduces the notion of ‘virtual subjectivity’, to refer to the subjective sense of ‘self’ that relates to one’s being-in-the-virtual-world. It articulates a projectual understanding of subjectivity (according to which we strive towards the kind of being we wish to be) and proposes the term ‘virtual project’ for the existential projects we take on in the virtual world. It proposes an understanding of virtual subjectivity as standing in a nested relation to the individual’s subjectivity in the actual world, arguing that this relation allows virtual world experience to gain existential significance. This paves the way for understanding the transformative, self-transformative, and therapeutic possibilities disclosed by virtual worlds.


Subjectivity Virtual worlds Sartre Existentialism Projectuality Game studies 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Digital GamesUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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