Videogame Cognitivism

Authors

  • Alexandre Declos Collège de France

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5617/jpg.8104

Abstract

The aim of this article is to examine and defend videogame cognitivism (VC). According to VC, videogames can be a source of cognitive successes (such as true beliefs, knowledge or understanding) for their players. While the possibility of videogame-based learning has been an extensive topic of discussion in the last decades, the epistemological underpinnings of these debates often remain unclear. I propose that VC is a domain-specific brand of aesthetic cognitivism, which should be carefully distinguished from other views that also insist on the cognitive or educational potential of videogames. After these clarifications, I discuss and assess different broad strategies to motivate VC: propositionalism, experientialism, and neocognitivism. These map the different ways in which videogames can prove epistemically valuable, showing them to be, respectively, sources of propositional knowledge, experiential knowledge, and understanding. I eventually argue that neocognitivism is a particularly promising and yet underexplored way to defend VC.

References

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Nintendo (1990). Super Mario World

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Paradox Interactive (2012). Crusader Kings II

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Rockstar Games (2013). Grand Theft Auto V.

SCS Software (2012). Euro Truck Simulator 2

Squad (2011). Kerbal Space Program

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Studio MDHR (2017). Cuphead

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Published

2021-06-25

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