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  1. Squid Games and the Lusory Attitude.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Analysis.
    On Bernard Suits’s celebrated analysis, to play a game is to engage in a “voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles”. Voluntariness is understood in terms of the players having the “lusory attitude” of accepting the constitutive rules of the game just because they make possible playing it. In this paper I suggest that the players in Netflix’s hit show Squid Game play the ‘squid games’, but they don’t do so voluntarily, but are forced to play. I argue that this means (...)
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  2. Interactivity, Fictionality, and Incompleteness.Nathan Wildman & Richard Woodward - forthcoming - In Grant Tavinor & Jon Robson (eds.), The Aesthetics of Videogames. Routledge.
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  3. Games and the Fluidity of Layered Agency.Luca Ferrero - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):344-355.
    What can the philosophy of agency learn from Nguyen’s book on games? The most important lesson concerns, to use Nguyen’s terms, the ‘layered’ structure of our agency and the ‘fluidity’ requ...
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  4. Ludic Unreliability and Deceptive Game Design.Stefano Gualeni & Nele Van de Mosselaer - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 3 (1):1-22.
    Drawing from narratology and design studies, this article makes use of the notions of the ‘implied designer’ and ‘ludic unreliability’ to understand deceptive game design as a specific sub-set of transgressive game design. More specifically, in this text we present deceptive game design as the deliberate attempt to misguide players’ inferences about the designers’ intentions. Furthermore, we argue that deceptive design should not merely be taken as a set of design choices aimed at misleading players in their efforts to understand (...)
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  5. Existential Ludology and Peter Wessel Zapffe.Stefano Gualeni & Daniel Vella - 2021 - In Victor Navarro-Remesal & Oliver Perez-Latorre (eds.), Perspectives on the European Videogame. Amsterdam (The Netherlands): Amsterdam University Press. pp. 175-192.
    A relatively common approach in game studies understands gameworlds as constituting an existential situation for the player. Taking that stance, which is rooted in the European philosophical tradition of Existentialism, in this chapter we investigate the relationships and similarities between our existence within and without gameworlds. To do so, we first provide a review of existing literature in ‘existential ludology’ - work in game studies which considers our engagement with gameworlds from an existential perspective. In the second part of the (...)
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  6. Defending Games: Reply to Hurka, Kukla and Noë. [REVIEW]C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):317-337.
    This is my reply to commentators in the symposium on my book, GAMES: AGENCY AS ART. The symposium features commentary by Thomas Hurka, Quill Kukla, and Alva Noe, and originally appeared in Analysis 81 (2).
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  7. The Opacity of Play: A Reply to Commentators. [REVIEW]C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):448-475.
    This is a reply to commentators in the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport's special issue symposium on GAMES: AGENCY AS ART. I respond to criticisms concerning the value of achievement play and striving play, the transparency and opacity of play, the artistic status of games, and many more.
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  8. How Twitter Gamifies Communication.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 410-436.
    Twitter makes conversation into something like a game. It scores our communication, giving us vivid and quantified feedback, via Likes, Retweets, and Follower counts. But this gamification doesn’t just increase our motivation to communicate; it changes the very nature of the activity. Games are more satisfying than ordinary life precisely because game-goals are simpler, cleaner, and easier to apply. Twitter is thrilling precisely because its goals have been artificially clarified and narrowed. When we buy into Twitter’s gamification, then our values (...)
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  9. Russell and Schlick on Work and Play.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - The Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin 163:52-60.
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  10. Code is Law: Subversion and Collective Knowledge in the Ethos of Video Game Speedrunning.Michael Hemmingsen - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (3):435-460.
    Speedrunning is a kind of ‘metagame’ involving video games. Though it does not yet have the kind of profile of multiplayer e-sports, speedrunning is fast approaching e-sports in popularity. Aside from audience numbers, however, from the perspective of the philosophy of sport and games, speedrunning is particularly interesting. To the casual player or viewer, speedrunning appears to be a highly irreverent, even pointless, way of playing games, particularly due to the incorporation of “glitches”. For many outside the speedrunning community, the (...)
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  11. Cheaters Never Prosper? Winning by Deception in Purely Professional Games of Pure Chance.Michael Hemmingsen - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (2):266-284.
    I argue that in purely professional games of pure chance, such as slot machines, roulette, baccarat or pachinko, any instance of cheating that successfully deceives the judge can be ‘part of the game’. I examine, and reject, various proposals for the ‘ethos’ that determines how we ought to interpret the formal rules of games of pure chance, such as being a test of skill, a matter of entertainment, a display of aesthetic beauty, an opportunity for hedonistic pleasure, and a fraternal (...)
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  12. The Arts of Action.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (14):1-27.
    The theory and culture of the arts has largely focused on the arts of objects, and neglected the arts of action – the “process arts”. In the process arts, artists create artifacts to engender activity in their audience, for the sake of the audience’s aesthetic appreciation of their own activity. This includes appreciating their own deliberations, choices, reactions, and movements. The process arts include games, urban planning, improvised social dance, cooking, and social food rituals. In the traditional object arts, the (...)
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  13. Games: Agency as Art.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Games occupy a unique and valuable place in our lives. Game designers do not simply create worlds; they design temporary selves. Game designers set what our motivations are in the game and what our abilities will be. Thus: games are the art form of agency. By working in the artistic medium of agency, games can offer a distinctive aesthetic value. They support aesthetic experiences of deciding and doing. -/- And the fact that we play games shows something remarkable about us. (...)
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  14. Constitutive Rules: Games, Language, and Assertion.Indrek Reiland - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):136-159.
    Many philosophers think that games like chess, languages like English, and speech acts like assertion are constituted by rules. Lots of others disagree. To argue over this productively, it would be first useful to know what it would be for these things to be rule-constituted. Searle famously claimed in Speech Acts that rules constitute things in the sense that they make possible the performance of actions related to those things (Searle 1969). On this view, rules constitute games, languages, and speech (...)
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  15. Weakly Aggregative Modal Logic: Characterization and Interpolation.Jixin Liu, Yanjing Wang & Yifeng Ding - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Emiliano Lorini & Meiyun Guo (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction 7th International Workshop, LORI 2019, Chongqing, China, October 18–21, 2019, Proceedings. pp. 153-167.
    Weakly Aggregative Modal Logic (WAML) is a collection of disguised polyadic modal logics with n-ary modalities whose arguments are all the same. WAML has some interesting applications on epistemic logic and logic of games, so we study some basic model theoretical aspects of WAML in this paper. Specifically, we give a van Benthem-Rosen characterization theorem of WAML based on an intuitive notion of bisimulation and show that each basic WAML system Kn lacks Craig Interpolation.
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  16. Games and the Art of Agency.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (4):423-462.
    Games may seem like a waste of time, where we struggle under artificial rules for arbitrary goals. The author suggests that the rules and goals of games are not arbitrary at all. They are a way of specifying particular modes of agency. This is what make games a distinctive art form. Game designers designate goals and abilities for the player; they shape the agential skeleton which the player will inhabit during the game. Game designers work in the medium of agency. (...)
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  17. The Right Way to Play a Game.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Game Studies 19 (1).
    Is there a right or wrong way to play a game? Many think not. Some have argued that, when we insist that players obey the rules of a game, we give too much weight to the author’s intent. Others have argued that such obedience to the rules violates the true purpose of games, which is fostering free and creative play. Both of these responses, I argue, misunderstand the nature of games and their rules. The rules do not tell us how (...)
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  18. "Shining Lights, Even in Death": What Metal Gear Can Teach Us About Morality (Master's Thesis).Ryan Wasser - 2019 - Dissertation, West Chester University
    Morality has always been a pressing issue in video game scholarship, but became more contentious after “realistic” violence in games became possible. However, few studies concern themselves with how players experience moral dilemmas in games, choosing instead to focus on the way games affect postplay behavior. In my thesis I discuss the moral choices players encounter in the Metal Gear series of games; then, I analyze and compare the responses of players with and without martial career experiences. My argument is (...)
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  19. Philosophy of Games.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12426.
    What is a game? What are we doing when we play a game? What is the value of playing games? Several different philosophical subdisciplines have attempted to answer these questions using very distinctive frameworks. Some have approached games as something like a text, deploying theoretical frameworks from the study of narrative, fiction, and rhetoric to interrogate games for their representational content. Others have approached games as artworks and asked questions about the authorship of games, about the ontology of the work (...)
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  20. Competition as Cooperation.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 44 (1):123-137.
    Games have a complex, and seemingly paradoxical structure: they are both competitive and cooperative, and the competitive element is required for the cooperative element to work out. They are mechanisms for transforming competition into cooperation. Several contemporary philosophers of sport have located the primary mechanism of conversion in the mental attitudes of the players. I argue that these views cannot capture the phenomenological complexity of game-play, nor the difficulty and moral complexity of achieving cooperation through game-play. In this paper, I (...)
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  21. The Aesthetics of Rock Climbing.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - The Philosophers' Magazine 78:37-43.
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  22. Still Self-Involved: A Reply to Patridge.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):184-187.
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  23. The Problem of Evil in Virtual Worlds.Brendan Shea - 2017 - In Mark Silcox (ed.), Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 137-155.
    In its original form, Nozick’s experience machine serves as a potent counterexample to a simplistic form of hedonism. The pleasurable life offered by the experience machine, its seems safe to say, lacks the requisite depth that many of us find necessary to lead a genuinely worthwhile life. Among other things, the experience machine offers no opportunities to establish meaningful relationships, or to engage in long-term artistic, intellectual, or political projects that survive one’s death. This intuitive objection finds some support in (...)
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  24. Sport, Make-Believe, and Volatile Attitudes.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):275-288.
    The outcomes of sports and competitive games excite intense emotions in many people, even when those same people acknowledge that those outcomes are of trifling importance. I call this incongruity between the judged importance of the outcome and the intense reactions it provokes the Puzzle of Sport. The puzzle can be usefully compared to another puzzle in aesthetics: the Paradox of Fiction, which asks how it is we become emotionally caught up with events and characters we know to be unreal. (...)
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  25. Beyond Things: The Ontological Importance of Play According to Eugen Fink.Jan Halák - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43 (2):199-214.
    Eugen Fink’s interpretation of play is virtually absent in the current philosophy of sport, despite the fact that it is rich in original descriptions of the structure of play. This might be due to Fink’s decision not to merely describe play, but to employ its analysis in the course of an elucidation of the ontological problem of the world as totality. On the other hand, this approach can enable us to properly evaluate the true existential and/or ontological value of play. (...)
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  26. Video Games as Self‐Involving Interactive Fictions.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):165-177.
    This article explores the nature and theoretical import of a hitherto neglected class of fictions which we term ‘self-involving interactive fictions’. SIIFs are interactive fictions, but they differ from standard examples of interactive fictions by being, in some important sense, about those who consume them. In order to better understand the nature of SIIFs, and the ways in which they differ from other fictions, we focus primarily on the most prominent example of the category: video-game fictions. We argue that appreciating (...)
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  27. The Mathematics of Slots: Configurations, Combinations, Probabilities.Catalin Barboianu - 2013 - Craiova, Romania: Infarom.
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  28. What Makes Jeopardy! A Good Game?Brendan Shea - 2013 - In Shaun P. Young (ed.), Jeopardy! and Philosophy: What is Knowledge in the Form of a Question? Open Court. pp. 27-39.
    Competitive quiz shows, and Jeopardy! in particular, occupy a unique place among TV game shows. The most successful Jeopardy! contestants—Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, Frank Sparenberg, and so on—have appeared on late night talk shows, been given book contracts, and been interviewed by major newspapers. This sort of treatment is substantially different than, say, the treatment that the winners of The Price is Right or Deal or No Deal are afforded. The distinctive status of quiz shows is evidenced in other ways (...)
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  29. Beyond Good and Evil? Morality in Video Games.Geert Gooskens - 2011 - Philosophical Writings (1):37-44.
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  30. Two Kinds of Games.Filip Kobiela - 2011 - Acta Universitatis Carolinae Kinanthropologica 47 (1):61-67.
    The article presents an ontological analysis of games. In every game one could distinct four constitutive elements: players, game rules, material substratum of the game and intentional world of the game. The last element correspond with make-believe quality of games. These are two kinds of acts of playing (creating the world of the game): performative and kinetic. The article presents an analysis of these two kinds of acts of playing and present the division of games (performative-based/kinetic-based) which is ontologically fundamental (...)
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  31. Defending the Morality of Violent Video Games.Marcus Schulzke - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (2):127-138.
    The effect of violent video games is among the most widely discussed topics in media studies, and for good reason. These games are immensely popular, but many seem morally objectionable. Critics attack them for a number of reasons ranging from their capacity to teach players weapons skills to their ability to directly cause violent actions. This essay shows that many of these criticisms are misguided. Theoretical and empirical arguments against violent video games often suffer from a number of significant shortcomings (...)
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  32. Understanding Games as Played:Sketch for a First-Person Perspective for Computer Game Analysis.Olli Tapio Leino - 2009 - Philosophy of Computer Games 2009 Proceedings.
    Researchers interested in player’s experience would assumedly, across disciplines, agree that the goal behind enquiries into player’s experience is to understand the how games’ features end up affecting the player’s experience. Much of the contemporary interdisciplinary research into player’s experience leans toward the empirical-scientific, in the forms psychology, sociology and cognitive science, to name a few. In such approaches, for example demonstrating correlation between physiological symptoms and an in-game event may amount to ‘understanding’. However, the experience of computer game play (...)
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  33. Precis of Games: Agency as Art.C. Thi Nguyen - manuscript
    Games are a distinctive form of art — and very different from many traditional arts. Games work in the medium of agency. Game designers don’t just tell stories or create environments. They tell us what our abilities will be in the game. They set our motivations, by setting the scoring system and specifying the win-conditions. Game de-signers sculpt temporary agencies for us to occupy. And when we play games, we adopt these designed agencies, submerging ourselves in them, and taking on (...)
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