Into the Magic Circle: Kick-off Colloquium


Into the Magic Circle is a new Open Access Journal (hosted by Open Journals) addressing the pivotal role of game and play in our society. We would like to invite you, as potential readers and collaborators of this Journal, to attend the symposium that will be held as the official kick-off of the Journal on 23 March 2023 at Tilburg University.

The title IMC, of course, refers to the theory of the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872-1945), the author of the ground-breaking essay on the importance of game and play in every aspect of our lives, Homo ludens (1938). Huizinga understands play as a ‘totality’. The element of play can be observed in all different aspects of culture, ranging from seemingly innocuous leisure activities to the uttermost serious and advanced systems, such as the financial world or political institutions, even warfare. Many eminent thinkers took Huizinga’s theory as a starting point to use the perspective of play to reflect on modern-day society: Georges Bataille, Umberto Eco, Guy Debord, Roger Caillois and  Mechthild Nagel, just to mention a few.

You are very welcome to join the symposium with a variety of speakers addressing the problem of play in times of modernity. Speakers are Frank Bosman (Theology/Game Studies), Martine Prange (Philosophy), Marc de Kesel (Mysticism, Modernity and Holocaust Studies), Aukje van Rooden (Philosophy and Literature Studies), Sandra Meeuwsen (Sport Studies), Daniel de Zeeuw (Media Studies), Joyce Goggin (Literature Studies) and Jaap Hoeksma (Legal Theory).

The peer-reviewed academic journal IMC welcomes in-depth approaches of the Social Sciences and Humanities domain to reflect on the phenomenon and philosophy of game and the problem of play in times of modernity, and related topics. The journal is a so called Diamond Open Access initiative, which means content is openly available for anyone to read, and authors can publish in it without any ‘article processing charges’. If you like to attend the all-day symposium, please register for this meeting by sending an e-mail to:


PROGRAMME (Location: Zwijsengebouw, Campus Tilburg University)


Welcome with Coffee


Some Remarks on the Utility of Huizinga’s Concept of Play in Current Debates   

Dr. Léon Hanssen


Playthings of the Gods: On the “magic circle” metaphor in Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens 

Prof. dr. Marc de Kesel


The Gambler: On Huizinga and Blanchot

Dr. Aukje van Rooden


Coffee break


The Stanley Parable: a Game on Human Freedom

Dr. Frank Bosman


A Human Being is Only a Full Human Being When She Plays

Prof. dr. Martine Prange




‘Internet. Serious business.’: Digital Dualism and the Deep Vernacular Web

Dr. Daniel de Zeeuw


Minecraft, Axolotl, Cuteness and Play

Dr. Joyce Goggin


Coffee break


No Pain, No Game. Play and Sacrifice in Modern Sports

Dr. Sandra Meeuwsen                   


Games in Politics and International Relations

Dr. Jaap Hoeksma


IMC, an Open Science Initiative

Closure by Dr. Daan Rutten

16:30 - [...]              

Drinks in Esplanade