Chapter 27 Imagination in Games: Formulation, Re-actualization and Gaining a World

In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
Author: Ton Kruse

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In this chapter, the faculty of imagination is approached as an act of formulation. I contend that imagination is not just experience-like, as cognitive scientists have recently proposed, it really is a true experience in itself. As true experiences, acts of imagination can function as ways to gain information about the world and about oneself in the world, just like sensory experiences are used to gain information empirically. Given that games are eminently imaginative acts, which demand the employment of imagination to engage in them, they are the perfect place to investigate the functioning of imagination further. What is experienced in games are real or true experiences through which one’s understanding of what is at stake in them, which ultimately involves possible aspects of being in the world, will change. My theoretical framework is predicated upon the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, wherein the act of formulation is understood as an occurrence of language-use. In that event, what is said (formulated and proposed), becomes present as a dialectic of meaning and reference.