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Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti
2014, iss. 2, pp. 69-77
article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published on: 17/05/2015
doi: 10.5937/ZbAkUm1402069M
(Im)possibility of applying traditional philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, pedagogy and sociology of play to critical analysis of video games


The aim of this paper is to give a short review of some of the most significant philosophical, aesthetic and cultural theories of play, and thereafter to analyse their research relevance in the context of reflection on today's video games. Play as a philosophical and aesthetical problem has had a long tradition and even the ancient philosophers ever since Heraclitus, Plato, Plotinus and Aristotle have more or less been thinking it. Nevertheless, those classical interpretations of play, except for their metaphorical sense, did not consider it as an aesthetic phenomenon. It was only in the 18th century that play received an important aesthetic role in Kant's and Schiller's works. Johan Huizinga has presented one of the most elaborate theories of play, which is important as it abandons metaphysical and psychological positioning of play, to establish it as a fundamental cultural pattern. The return of philosophical interest for the concept of play has been marked by philosophers of continental European philosophical tradition - Hans-Georg Gadamer and Eugen Fink. Essentialist theories, ontology and apologies of play as free, a refuge from work, voluntary, humane, outside the sphere of utility, careless, with its autonomous time and space, cosmic and world play, could hardly correspond to the problem area of contemporary video games.



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