Special Lecture by RCGS Visiting Researcher Prof. Stefano Gualeni: “Ludic Unreliability and Deceptive Game Design”

Date and Time: April 10, 2023, 10:40 – 12:10
Place: Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus, Soshikan Building SO303

Abstract: Drawing from narratology and design studies, my talk (and corresponding article with Nele Van de Mosselaer) makes use of the notions of the ‘implied designer’ and ‘ludic unreliability’ to understand deceptive game design as a specific subset of transgressive game design.
More specifically, in my presentation I will introduce deceptive game design as the deliberate attempt to misguide players’ inferences about the designers’ intentions. Furthermore, I will argue that deceptive design should not merely be taken as a design strategy aimed at misleading players in their efforts to understand the game, but also as decisions devised to give rise to experiential and emotional effects that are in the interest of players.

Stefano Gualeni (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Digital Games (University of Malta), and a Visiting Professor at the Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) in Laguna Beach, California. He is the author of four monographic books: Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools (Palgrave, 2015), Virtual Existentialism: Meaning and Subjectivity in Virtual Worlds (Palgrave Pivot, 2020 – with Daniel Vella), Fictional Games: A Philosophy of Worldbuilding and Imaginary Play (Bloomsbury, 2023 – with Riccardo Fassone), and The Clouds: An Experiment in Theory-Fiction (forthcoming for Routledge). He has also designed several games. For more on his work, check out his website: https://www.gua-le-ni.com/