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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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  • The Grave Resolution to the Gamer’s Dilemma: An Argument for a Moral Distinction Between Virtual Murder and Virtual Child Molestation.Morgan Luck - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (3):1287-1308.
    In this paper a new resolution to the gamer’s dilemma is presented. The first part of the paper is devoted to strictly formulating the dilemma, and the second to establishing its resolution. The proposed resolution, the grave resolution, aims to resolve not only the gamer’s dilemma, but also a wider set of analogous paradoxes – which together make up the paradox of treating wrongdoing lightly.
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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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  • How to Understand Rule-Constituted Kinds.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (1):7-27.
    The paper distinguishes between two conceptions of kinds defined by constitutive rules, the one suggested by Searle, and the one invoked by Williamson to define assertion. Against recent arguments to the contrary by Maitra, Johnson and others, it argues for the superiority of the latter in the first place as an account of games. On this basis, the paper argues that the alleged disanalogies between real games and language games suggested in the literature in fact don’t exist. The paper relies (...)
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  • Player Engagement with Games: Formal Reliefs and Representation Checks.Karl Egerton - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):95-104.
    Alongside the direct parallels and contrasts between traditional narrative fiction and games, there lie certain partial analogies that provide their own insights. This article begins by examining a direct parallel between narrative fiction and games—the role of fictional reliefs and reality checks in shaping aesthetic engagement—before arguing that from this a partial analogy can be developed stemming from a feature that distinguishes most games from most traditional fictions: the presence of rules. The relation between rules and fiction in games has (...)
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  • Play and Games: An Opinionated Introduction.Michael Ridge - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12573.
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  • Nguyen Meets His Critics—Games: Agency as Art in a Philosophy of Sport Context.Christopher C. Yorke - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):311-320.
    C. Thi Nguyen – the author whose new book, Games: Agency as Art, is the main provocation for co-editor John Russell and I putting together this special issue of the Journal of the Philosophy of Spo...
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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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  • The “Digital Animal Intuition:” the Ethics of Violence Against Animals in Video Games.Simon Coghlan & Lucy Sparrow - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):215-224.
    Video game players sometimes give voice to an “intuition” that violently harming nonhuman animals in video games is particularly ethically troubling. However, the moral issue of violence against nonhuman animals in video games has received scant philosophical attention, especially compared to the ethics of violence against humans in video games. This paper argues that the seemingly counterintuitive belief that digital animal violence is in general more ethically problematic than digital human violence is likely to be correct. Much video game violence (...)
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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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