Issue 12 of Laocoonte. Revista de Estética y Teoría de las Artes aims to offer a space for reflecting on play in Aesthetics. The deadline for submitting articles will be June 1st, 2025.

Aesthetic experience, art, and play have shared their paths on many occasions. Kant’s free play of imagination in aesthetic judgment, or the association between humanity, beauty, and play in Schiller or Huizinga, shows how modern aesthetic theory was already aware of the bonds between the playful and the aesthetic. Moreover, the influence of play in art has allowed artists to explore the nature and rules of their work. Historic cases in point are the exquisite corpses of surrealism, or Sol Lewitt’s drawing instructions.

The centrality of playfulness in our present time encourages us to think about the current state of the relations between the aesthetic, the arts, and play. The 21st Century has been defined as a “ludic century” (Eric Zimmerman). It has also been said that “games are the defining art form of the twenty-first century” (Frank Lantzman), or that video game design is based on emotions (Katherine Isbister), and fun has been rendered as the rule of taste (John Sharp & David Thomas). These claims speak about a time that, paradoxically, is making important efforts to capitalize on the idle and unproductive through all kinds of gamification strategies. Lastly, we have witnessed the consolidation of the video game industry, and the emergence of game studies as a whole new field of research. All of this is reshaping the role of games and play in our culture.

Issue number 12 of Laocoonte invites exploration of the long tradition involving aesthetics, arts, and the mixture of games and play to reflect on its past and present relations. The following contributions are welcome:

  • Aesthetics of play and games: theoretical approaches that investigate the bonds between the aesthetic and the playful – Schiller, Kant, Huizinga, Gadamer, Caillois, John Sharp…
  • Aesthetics of video games: video games as an art form and aesthetic experience.
  • Poetics of play and games: the creation and design of playful experiences.
  • Aesthetics of the player: the playful subject, forms of agency in games, the role of fun in play.
  • Games, structures, and categories: typologies, rules, interactivity, spontaneity, reality and fiction, relations between the playful and the serious, humor and laughter.
  • Games and play in the arts: visual and performative arts, music and sound, literature, design, contemporary practices…
  • Ludocapitalism: the role of the playful and the unproductive in capitalism.

Submissions will be made through the Journal’s website:

Issue coordinator: Alejandro Lozano (University of Salamanca)
The expected publication date for issue 12 is December 15, 2025.