University of Nottingham: Philosophical ‘board game’ café to celebrate Being Human

University philosophers will be rolling the dice and shuffling the cards with board game enthusiasts in a unique event to explore how games can enrich our lives.

Renewing our Relationship with Games takes place at 6pm on Monday 15th November at the Ludorati Café Bar on Maid Marian Way in Nottingham. The event will explore popular board games from a philosophical point of view as part of Being Human – a national festival which celebrates the importance of the arts and humanities to society.

Leading this unusual games night will be University of Nottingham philosophy lecturer Dr Karl Egerton who specialises in the philosophies of fiction and interactive fiction such as video and board games. Karl said:

“Our games night is an ideal opportunity for anyone who enjoys playing board games to come along and play their favourite games but also to help us answer some curious questions about what these games mean to them personally. Do they simply play for enjoyment, or do they represent more, for example, a participation in a distinctive kind of artwork? Are games a way of understanding the real world or escaping from it?

“Games rarely get the attention they deserve for their ability to not just provide entertainment, but to tell stories, to teach us, to prompt our creativity, and to build communities. I want to explore how we can engage with board games creatively and generate new experiences – building on my recent research on how our engagement with games is dynamic, we’ll see what happens when we tweak our experience of a board game. What happens if we play a familiar board game but, for example, really see ourselves as characters within the world? Or what if we understand more about what it would actually be like to go through the things that happen in the game? Do these things affect how we try to win, or improve our experience, or change it into something different altogether?

“I’m really looking forward to exploring these ideas with members of the public (while having some fun playing games!) and seeing what we can learn from their experiences.”

Participants at the event will have the chance to discover (or rediscover!) rich fictional worlds through games that connect with themes like the colonisation of land (Settlers of Catan), the excesses of the USA in the ‘Gilded Age’ (Ticket to Ride), and the brutal nature of feudal conflict (Dominion).

Comments are closed.