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Felino: The Philosophical Practice of Making an Interspecies Videogame

By Michelle Westerlaken, Stefano Gualeni

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This paper describes the design process of an interspecies video game that has its foundations in the field of Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), but is inspired by philosophical notions and approaches including Jos De Mul’s work on biohermeneutics (De Mul 2013), Pierce’s theory of semiotics (Pierce 1931-35), and the work of Helmuth Plessner in the field of philosophical anthropology (Plessner 2006). Our approach serves to better design playful artefacts (video games among them) that take the animal's reactions and preferences into account in the research phase, the conceptualization phase, and the iteration phase of the design process. Our tablet game, called Felino, is merely a digital toy that aims at facilitating the emergence of ‘play’ between humans and domestic cats, and allows humans and animals to play together simultaneously. The design and development of Felino is not only informed by advancements in the field of ACI, but is first and foremost a critical artefact that materializes our philosophical approach, making it an object for critical evaluation.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Pages 12
Conference Title The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-computer interaction
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Human-animal interactions
  4. humanities
  5. Interspecies interactions
  6. Media
  7. open access
  8. Philosophy
  9. Social sciences
  1. open access