Peter W. Zapffe and the Virtual Tragic

  • Stefano GualeniEmail author
  • Daniel Vella


Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Peter W. Zapffe understands human life as inherently meaningless. In relation to that meaninglessness, he identifies four ways in which human beings typically protect themselves from the existential panic that accompanies the awareness of that meaninglessness—isolation, anchoring, distraction, and sublimation. This chapter considers the extent to which our engagement with virtual environments can be understood in terms of each of Zapffe’s four categories, thereby building an examination of virtual environments as technologies to repress existential panic.


Zapffe Tragic Isolation Anchoring Distraction Sublimation Virtual worlds 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Digital GamesUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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