- 美学 (ISSN:05200962)
- vol.64, no.2, pp.97-108, 2013-12-31 (Released:2017-05-22)
When describing player's actions in videogame playing, we often use the sentences which seem to say that the player performs her actions within a fictional world. But it seems to be impossible for a real individual to act in a fictional location. Here is a puzzle. This paper attempts to analyze such sentences and solve this ontological puzzle. First, I examine some possible answers. Immersionism takes the sentences as expressing the player's experiences of immersion. Virtualism assumes that the sentences refer to players' actions within not fictional but virtual worlds. Realism says that the apparently fictional actions are really real. Fictionalism claims that the sentences are not true but fictionally true. I show that all of these are far from satisfactory. Then, I turn to two more sophisticated theories. Grant Tavinor's interactive fiction theory invokes Waltonian work-world/game-world distinction to account for the peculiarity of videogame fiction. John Sageng offers a realist theory according to which player's actions induce reference shifts from fictional happenings to on-screen happenings. But both have some fault as well. Finally, I claim that the apparently fictional actions are as real as actions in traditional games are, though specified by on-screen signs individuated by their fictional contents.