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Philosophy of games

Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12426 (2017)

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  1. Freedom's Spontaneity.Jonathan Gingerich - 2018 - Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
    Many of us have experienced a peculiar feeling of freedom, of the world being open before us. This is the feeling that is captured by phrases like “the freedom of the open road” and “free spirits,” and, to quote Phillip Larkin, “free bloody birds” going “down the long slide / To happiness, endlessly.” This feeling is associated with the ideas that my life could go in many different directions and that there is a vast range of things that I could (...)
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  • Freedom and the Value of Games.Jonathan Gingerich - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):831-849.
    This essay explores the features in virtue of which games are valuable or worthwhile to play. The difficulty view of games holds that the goodness of games lies in their difficulty: by making activities more complex or making them require greater effort, they structure easier activities into more difficult, therefore more worthwhile, activities. I argue that a further source of the value of games is that they provide players with an experience of freedom, which they provide both as paradigmatically unnecessary (...)
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  • 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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  • Play and Games: An Opinionated Introduction.Michael Ridge - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12573.
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  • Why Gamers Are Not Performers.Andrew Kania - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (2):187-199.
    I argue that even if video games are interactive artworks, typical video games are not works for performance and players of video games do not perform these games in the sense in which a musician performs a musical composition (or actors a play, dancers a ballet, and so on). Even expert playings of video games for an audience fail to qualify as performances of those works. Some exemplary playings may qualify as independent “performance-works,” but this tells us nothing about the (...)
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