Zero Squared #28: Imaginary Games

Chris Bateman is a game designer, outsider philosopher and author. His book Imaginary Games was published by Zero Books in 2011. Bateman is also the blogger behind Only a Game and he posts regularly in between writing how to manuals on game design and lecturing at the University of Bolton.

Jon Cogburn, Director of Philosophy at LSU blurbed Imaginary Games this way:

Chris Bateman’s Imaginary Games may just do for videogames what Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror did for scary books and movies…. not only philosophically compelling and interesting; it is also a great read.

In this episode you’ll hear a rerun of a conversation about the movie Tron between me and my then thirteen year old son Ben, theme music from Super Smash Brothers Melee, Chad African explaining Zizek and his idea of ontological incompleteness, clips from a youtube documentary about smash, a short clip on Hegel from the 8-bit philosophy series, and the theme music from Super Mario Brothers.

i doubt that “nations” exist, just figures of speech, no possibilities for “collective” imagination as we don’t (yet) have any ways to link our bodies in such ways/matters.
we act as-if all sorts of things were real/so but that doesn’t give ‘them’ anything like actual agency, just speech-acts and such.
good show tho, thanks

24 Jul 2015, 3:35am
by douglaslain


When you drive from one state to another on an interstate hasn’t the nation state made it possible to link up with people in a national way?
Why does something have to be a subjective agent to be real? The sun is burning, it doesn’t have agency.

no the “nation state” didn’t make it possible, particular people in Washington linked up with other people locally to finance, build, etc those roads and all.
Of course there are real things that have active powers (or else they wouldn’t exist) in terms of physics but we generally don’t talk about nations and other figures of speech as being like the sun (various mythologies aside) but as agents (as you did in yer reply/comment) who do human-like stuff in the world.

You’re a nominalist?

yep, philosophically these days a kind of enactivist take on:
but theory aside I haven’t seen an argument/example that doesn’t go much like our exchange here, when we look at actual cases of what is happening in a given situation all we find at work are people and the other critter and objects around (and within) us.

I could just as easily say, and just as correctly point out, that every time I argue out this point all we find are abstract universal ideas such as “people” and “critters” and “objects.”
Ahhh, Hegel.

except you don’t you actually find words (written marks, spoken, etc) in context/use, not an abstract universal idea in sight….


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