• Time: 18:00-19:00
  • Date: Monday, 7 December 2020
  • Venue: HSG19


This talk explores what video games can teach us in light of the ongoing sixth mass extinction in the history of our planet, allegedly caused by global warming and the over-consumption of vital resources. It looks at video games that play by themselves, idle and incremental video games for smartphone devices, and the emergence of nonplaying characters in ludic and open-world simulations. It explores automatic play and the use of bots and AI in online role-playing games, procedurally generated virtual environments, and video games that far exceed the lifespan of their players. Video games made and played by nonhuman actors can shed light on the situatedness and partiality of our knowledge, and introduce new differences between dualisms such as human and nonhuman, interactivity and passivity, entertainment and boredom, life and death. Nonhuman video games help us to articulate the space and time in-between these dualisms and have the potential to reroute gaming (and game/media studies) from false myths of agency and interactivity. Nonhuman video games are companions for earthly survival.


Dr Paolo Ruffino Lecturer in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. Dr Ruffino is teaching and researching on video games, interactive media, and digital cultures. He is the author of Future Gaming: Creative Interventions in Video Game Culture (MIT/Goldsmiths Press 2018), and editor of Independent Videogames: Cultures, Networks, Techniques and Politics (Routledge 2021).