6th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games, Madrid 2012 Passive and active fictions: the nature of imaginative engagement.- Gregory Currie Passive and active fictions: the nature of imaginative engagement Abstract Computer Games create fictional worlds in which the player changes the course of the fiction. Such participatory fictions raise philosophical problems of at least two kinds. The first concerns their relations to conventional fictions in linguistic and visual media such as literature and film. There is a debate about whether and to what extent these more conventional forms are already participatory: I have argued in the past that they are very largely not participatory media; on such a view we might call them exclusionary. This view has been attacked by a number of writers including Kendall Walton and George Wilson. I grant something to their arguments but argue that there is a still a very large gulf between these conventional and minimally participatory fictions, and fictions within the computer game genre. The second problem concerns authorship, and is at the heart of debates over the capacity of the computer game to produce fictions of artistic merit. I argue that granting the player a degree of authorial status in the game is consistent with a high (very high) degree of artistic quality in a fictional construction.
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