Dr Feng Zhu is Lecturer in Games and Virtual Environments in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. He is interested in computer gameplay as a site from which to explore the intersection of power, subjectivity, and play. His research focuses on computer games and how we habituate ourselves through gameplay. In particular, it concerns forms of gameplay as longitudinal self-fashioning that may inculcate ambivalent forms of reflexivity and attention, some of which may be read in terms of an aesthetics of existence.
The question ‘are computer games art?’ is not a productive one if there is the expectation that there can be a reasonable answer to it without some questioning of the question itself. I will explain why this is so and make the case that we would be better served by thinking about the ‘aesthetic experiences’ that playing computer games may foster as opposed to their categorization as art or as non-art.