A colourful photo of cgi characters on a fantasy board games such as a giant spider, a troll and a fairy.

Philosophical ‘board game’ café to celebrate Being Human

Friday, 12 November 2021

University philosophers will be rolling the dice and shuffling the cards with board game enthusiasts in a unique event to explore how games can enrich our lives.

Renewing our Relationship with Games takes place at 6pm on Monday 15th November at the Ludorati Café Bar on Maid Marian Way in Nottingham. The event will explore popular board games from a philosophical point of view as part of Being Human – a national festival which celebrates the importance of the arts and humanities to society.

© Ludorati Cafe Bar, Maid Marian Way, Nottingham

Leading this unusual games night will be University of Nottingham philosophy lecturer Dr Karl Egerton who specialises in the philosophies of fiction and interactive fiction such as video and board games. Karl said:

Dr Karl Egerton, Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham

“Our games night is an ideal opportunity for anyone who enjoys playing board games to come along and play their favourite games but also to help us answer some curious questions about what these games mean to them personally. Do they simply play for enjoyment, or do they represent more, for example, a participation in a distinctive kind of artwork? Are games a way of understanding the real world or escaping from it?

“Games rarely get the attention they deserve for their ability to not just provide entertainment, but to tell stories, to teach us, to prompt our creativity, and to build communities. I want to explore how we can engage with board games creatively and generate new experiences - building on my recent research on how our engagement with games is dynamic, we'll see what happens when we tweak our experience of a board game. What happens if we play a familiar board game but, for example, really see ourselves as characters within the world? Or what if we understand more about what it would actually be like to go through the things that happen in the game? Do these things affect how we try to win, or improve our experience, or change it into something different altogether?

“I'm really looking forward to exploring these ideas with members of the public (while having some fun playing games!) and seeing what we can learn from their experiences.”

Participants at the event will have the chance to discover (or rediscover!) rich fictional worlds through games that connect with themes like the colonisation of land (Settlers of Catan), the excesses of the USA in the 'Gilded Age' (Ticket to Ride), and the brutal nature of feudal conflict (Dominion).

The Renewing our Relationship with Games philosophy event is free to attend. Booking is available online via the Being Human website.( )

Ludorati Café Bar location:

Story credits

For more information, please contact Dr Karl Egerton, Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham via email or Emma Rayner, Media Relations Manager on 07738 291242 or

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Arts
Phone: 0115 748 4413

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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