About this topic
Summary What is a game, and what is the value of games in human life? For some, playing games is a trivial endeavor. For others, playing games can turn out to be quite valuable, and central part of our lives. The discussion of the nature and the value of games has been conducted in several different fields, both in philosophy and next to it. In the philosophy of art, philosophers have focused on largely on questions of whether games are a form of art, and if so, what their relationship is to other more familiar art forms. Some have argued that videogames are a kind of fiction, or interactive cinema. In the philosophy of sport, philosophers have focused on questions of the value and purpose of sport. There, philosophers have suggested, variously, that the purpose of sport is to develop human excellence, or offer a venue for human achievement, or to create opportunities for dramas of hope and redemption. Much of the discussion of games has occurred the interdisciplinary field called Games Studies - much of whose roots lie in various literary critical and anthropological approaches, often emphasizing approaches from continental philosophy. 
Key works The modern discussion about games is usually taken to proceed from Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens. There, Huizinga suggests that games are connected with theater, sport, and religious ritual, in being set apart from ordinary life, inside a magic circle of play. Roger Caillois' Man, Play, and Games offers a pluralist view of play, distinguishing between competitive play, mimetic play, luck play, and vertigo play. In analytic philosophy, the central work is Bernard Suits' The Grasshopper (Suits & Hurka 1978). Suits there, claims that games are the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacle. Suits' account ends with an argument that games are the purpose of life - since, in utopia, all we would do with our time is to play games. Thomas Hurka has offered an extension of Suits' account, whereby the value of games is to be spelled out in terms of difficult achievement (Hurka 2006). This style of account has recently been developed in great detail by Gwen Bradford (Bradford 2015). In the philosophy of sport, some have argued that there are norms of play, which arise from the distinctive aim of sport - what is called the ethos of sport. Robert Simon has argued that the ethos of sport can be derived from looking at what the rules aim at (Simon 2000). J. S. Russell has argued that the ethos of sport is the development of human excellence (Russell 2004); William Morgan has offered some crucial critical responses (Morgan 2004). In the philosophy of art, the discussion has centered around whether games are art, and, if so, what art form they might be. Grant Tavinor has developed an account of games as a form of fiction (Tavinor 2009). Dominic Lopes has developed an account of interactive computer art (Lopes 2009). The philosophical discussion of videogames has also raised some key questions in ethics, especially the interactive representation of evil acts (Luck 2009, Bartel 2012, Patridge 2013). Maria Lugones' influential account of play as shifting between worlds includes an important criticism of competitive games (Lugones 1987). Philosophers should also certainly take note of interdisciplinary work in Game Studies. Key figures in that field include Janet Murray, Espen Aarseth, Gonzolo Frasca, Markku Eskelinen, Mary Flanagan, Mia Consalvo, Jaakko Stenros, Jane McGonigal, Ian Bogost (Bogost 2007), and Miguel Sicart (Sicart 2009). Early work in that field focused on the so-called "ludology vs. narratology" wars, which focused on whether games should primarily be approached as a form of narrative, or whether games should be approached as a unique, non-narrative artifact. A good place to start with Game Studies is Jesper Juul's well-known book, Half-Real: Video Games Between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds.
Introductions C. Thi Nguyen's recent Philosophy Compass article, "Philosophy of Games" offers a survey of recent work in the philosophy of games, surveying work in game studies, the philosophy of sport, aesthetics, and applied ethics (Nguyen 2017).  Grant Tavinor's Philosophy Compass, "Videogames and Aesthetics", covers specific issues in the aesthetics of video games (Tavinor 2010).  Jaakko Stenros's "In Defense of a Magic Circle: The Social and Mental Boundaries of Play" offers a critical survey of the concept of a "magic circle" - that is, the idea that games and play occupy a special separate space, separated from ordinary life. Randolph Feezell's "A Pluralist Conception of Play" offers a useful survey of the philosophy of play (Feezell 2010). Jesper Juul's Half-Real: Video Games Between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds is an excellent introduction to work in the interdisciplinary field of Game Studies.
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  1. Roleplaying Game–Based Engineering Ethics Education: Lessons from the Art of Agency.Trystan S. Goetze - forthcoming - Proceedings of the 2024 American Society for Engineering Education St. Lawrence Section Annual Conference.
    How do we prepare engineering students to make ethical and responsible decisions in their professional work? This paper presents an approach that enhances engineering students’ engagement with ethical reasoning by simulating decision-making in a complex scenario. The approach has two principal inspirations. The first is Anthony Weston’s scenario-based teaching. Weston’s concept of a scenario is a situation that changes in response to choices made by participants, according to an inner logic. Scenarios can dynamically explore open-ended complex problems without imposing predetermined (...)
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  2. Agent‐Switching, Plight Inescapability, and Corporate Agency.Olof Leffler - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Realists about group agency, according to whom corporate agents may have mental states and perform actions over and above those of their individual members, think that individual agents may switch between participating in individual and corporate agency. My aim is, however, to argue that the inescapability of individual agency spells out a difficulty for this kind of switching – and, therefore, for realism about corporate agency. To do so, I develop Korsgaard's notion of plight inescapability. On my take, it suggests (...)
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  3. Affermazioni e verità: fra regole e scopi.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Rivista di Filosofia:365-395.
    There is a fundamental disagreement about which norm regulates assertion. Proponents of factive accounts argue that only true propositions are assertable, whereas proponents of non-factive accounts insist that at least some false propositions are. This paper delineates an alternative solution: to understand truth as the aim of assertion. In asserting, you describe reality as being in a certain way, and you succeed only if reality is indeed in that way. This tells us under which conditions assertions are successful, but not (...)
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  4. Game, Player, Ethics: A Virtue Ethics Approach to Computer Games.Miguel Angel Sicart Vila - forthcoming - International Review of Information Ethics.
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  5. Value Capture.Christopher Nguyen - 2024 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 27 (3).
    Value capture occurs when an agent’s values are rich and subtle; they enter a social environment that presents simplified — typically quantified — versions of those values; and those simplified articulations come to dominate their practical reasoning. Examples include becoming motivated by FitBit’s step counts, Twitter Likes and Re-tweets, citation rates, ranked lists of best schools, and Grade Point Averages. We are vulnerable to value capture because of the competitive advantage that such crisp and clear expressions of value have in (...)
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  6. Who Cares About Winning?Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):248-265.
    Why do we so often care about the outcomes of games when nothing is at stake? There is a paradox here, much like the paradox of fiction, which concerns why we care about the fates and threats of merely fictional beings. I argue that the paradox threatens to overturn a great deal of what philosophers have thought about caring, severing its connection to value and undermining its moral weight. I defend a solution to the paradox that draws on Kendall Walton's (...)
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  7. María Lugones and the Value of Playfulness for World-Making.Ricardo Friaz - 2023 - Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 23 (1):2-7.
    In this essay, I focus on Lugones’s relatively lesser explored notion of playfulness. I weigh in on the debate about whether playfulness is necessary for what Lugones calls “world-traveling,” which enables one to recognize another person as a full subject. I argue that although the attribute of playfulness may not be necessary for world-traveling, it is necessary for collaborative world-making––creating a new, shared world that is opened through the activity of play.
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  8. Explaining Go: Challenges in Achieving Explainability in AI Go Programs.Zack Garrett - 2023 - Journal of Go Studies 17 (2):29-60.
    There has been a push in recent years to provide better explanations for how AIs make their decisions. Most of this push has come from the ethical concerns that go hand in hand with AIs making decisions that affect humans. Outside of the strictly ethical concerns that have prompted the study of explainable AIs (XAIs), there has been research interest in the mere possibility of creating XAIs in various domains. In general, the more accurate we make our models the harder (...)
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  9. Fictional Games: A Philosophy of Worldbuilding and Imaginary Play.Stefano Gualeni & Riccardo Fassone - 2023 - London (UK): Bloomsbury Publishing. Edited by Riccardo Fassone.
    What role do imaginary games have in story-telling? Why do fiction authors outline the rules of a game that the reader will never watch or play? Combining perspectives from philosophy, literature and game studies, this book provides the first in-depth investigation into the significance of games in fictional worlds. With examples from contemporary cinema and literature, from The Hunger Games to the science fiction of Iain M. Banks, Stefano Gualeni and Riccardo Fassone introduce four key functions that different types of (...)
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  10. Guerrilla Warrior-Mages: Tiqqun and Magic: The Gathering.Joshua M. Hall - 2023 - Philosophy Today 67 (2):405-425.
    If, as asserted by the French collective Tiqqun, we are essentially living in a global colony, where the 1% control the 99%, then it follows that the revolutionary struggle should strategically reorient itself as guerrilla warfare. The agents of this war, Tiqqun characterize, in part, by drawing on ethnologists Pierre de Clastres and Ernesto de Martino, specifically their figures of the Indigenous American warrior and the Southern Italian sorcerer, respectively. Hybridizing these two figures into that of the “warrior-mage,” the present (...)
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  11. Return of the Grasshopper: Games, Leisure and the Good Life in the Third Millennium. [REVIEW]Lukáš Mareš - 2023 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 50 (2):304-309.
    Bernard Suits is without a doubt one of the most influential scholars in the philosophy of sport. His book The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia (first published in 1978) is a classic and ‘must r...
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  12. Games Unlike Life.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 23 (3).
    This is a reply to Elisabeth Camp's and Elijah Millgram's probing discussions of "Games and the Art of Agency", in a symposium in Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. Millgram argues that games cannot function as a guide to life, because they are too different from life. Games are limited in a special way: in life, we deliberate about what goals we want to take on, but in games, the goals are fixed and given to us. Camp argues that there (...)
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  13. Moritz Schlick's Evolutionary Game Theory.Andreas Vrahimis - 2023 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 40 (4):317-337.
    The early Schlick developed an evolutionary biological account of play. He contrasted play with work. Where work encompasses all activity that is undertaken for the sake of some practical outcome, play renders what was previously a mere means into an end enjoyable in itself. Schlick thus distinguished between aesthetic, religious, scientific, and ethical game types. This paper shows that this typology underlies his later attempts to naturalize these fields, and allows us to clarify the relation between object-games and their description (...)
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  14. Schlick and Wittgenstein on games and ethics.Andreas Vrahimis - 2023 - Philosophical Investigations 47 (1):76-100.
    In conversations with Schlick and Waismann from June and December 1930, Wittgenstein began to turn his attention to the topic of games. This topic also centrally concerned Schlick. In his earliest philosophical output, Schlick had relied on the results of evolutionary biology in setting out an account of the emergence of the human species’ ability to play [Spiel] as a prerequisite for the genesis of scientific knowledge. Throughout his subsequent works one finds fragmentary appeals to this early view, e.g. in (...)
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  15. The video gamer’s dilemmas.Rami Ali - 2022 - Ethics and Information Technology 24 (2).
    The gamer’s dilemma offers three plausible but jointly inconsistent premises: (1) Virtual murder in video games is morally permissible. (2) Virtual paedophelia in video games is not morally permissible. (3) There is no morally relevant difference between virtual murder and virtual paedophelia in video games. In this paper I argue that the gamer’s dilemma can be understood as one of three distinct dilemmas, depending on how we understand two key ideas in Morgan Luck’s (2009) original formulation. The two ideas are (...)
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  16. Novelty.Emmalon Davis - 2022 - The Philosopher 110 (4):39-44.
    Academic philosophy has a novelty problem. Novelty has become a litmus test for a contribution’s value. This results in a common undertaking for academic researchers. Read a bunch. Look for holes and gaps. Figure out what hasn’t been said. Try to insert yourself in a conversation by saying something new. On first glance, this approach might appear to make sense. If it’s not new, why do we need it? Yet a fixation on novelty sculpts a landscape of philosophical inquiry that (...)
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  17. Is Fun a Matter of Grammar?Giles Field - 2022 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 4 (1).
    This paper outlines an analysis of the word ‘fun’, as it is used in everyday English sentences to describe various activities and asks why some things are labeled as fun while others seem unable to be properly described as such. One common unspoken idea, for example, is that a fun activity is deemed fun due to having a particular phenomenology, in a way that might be comparable to being in a ‘flow state’. Due to the trouble such psychological accounts of (...)
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  18. Illusory checkmates: why chess is not a game.Michael Hickson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-21.
    In this essay I argue that chess is not a game.?I begin by arguing the narrower point that chess is not a game in the sense of 'game' developed by Bernard Suits.?Chess is not a Suitsian game because chess lacks a prelusory goal.?Chess lacks a prelusory goal, which is a goal that is identifiable before a game is played, because no checkmate position is knowably achievable before chess is played.?Checkmate is a postlusory discovery about chess, not a prelusory goal of (...)
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  19. Manipulative Design Through Gamification.W. Jared Parmer - 2022 - In Michael Klenk & Fleur Jongepier (eds.), The Philosophy of Online Manipulation. Routledge. pp. 216-234.
    Gamification calls for cogent philosophical analysis and is a valuable opportunity to explore manipulative design, in which users are manipulated into doing something by using an artifact just as it is designed to be used. This chapter analyzes gamification as the implementation of inducements to striving play in artifacts that are not themselves games. Implementing such inducements is a species of a more generic form of design in which users are provided with tools for reasoning, along with scaffolding that putatively (...)
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  20. Squid games and the lusory attitude.Indrek Reiland - 2022 - Analysis 82 (4):638-646.
    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 do not do so voluntarily; they are forced to play. I argue that this (...)
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  21. Suits and the phenomenology of games: a reply to Johnson and Hudecki.Micah D. Tillman - 2022 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 49 (2):230-245.
    Johnson and Hudecki argue that Bernard Suits fails to refute Wittgenstein’s ‘family resemblance’ view of games because Suits’s account of how games begin, how they are played, and the ends they involve, fails to match basic facts of player experience. In reply, the current paper describes three keys to interpreting The Grasshopper: (1) distinguishing the four perspectives from which Suits describes games, (2) recognizing Suits' dispositional view of rule following, and (3) understanding the geometrical metaphor Suits uses to describe rules. (...)
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  22. 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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  23. Fictional Games and Utopia: The Case of Azad.Stefano Gualeni - 2021 - Science Fiction Film and Television 14 (2):187-207.
    ‘Fictional games’ are playful activities and ludic artefacts that were conceptualised to be part of fictional worlds. These games cannot – or at least were not originally meant to – be actually played. This interdisciplinary article discusses fictional games, focusing on those appearing in works of sf. Its objective is that of exploring how fictional games can function as utopian devices. Drawing on game studies, utopian studies, and sf studies, the first half of the article introduces the notion of fictional (...)
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  24. 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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  25. 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 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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  26. Playing with your heart?: Patrick Jagoda: Experimental games: critique, play, and design in the age of gamification. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 320 pp, $27.50 PB. [REVIEW]A. G. Holdier - 2021 - Metascience 30 (3):483-486.
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  27. 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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  28. Defending Games: Reply to Hurka, Kukla and Noë.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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  29. The opacity of play: a reply to commentators.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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  30. Russell and Schlick on Work and Play.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - The Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin 163:52-60.
    The concepts of work, labour, leisure, and play have been widely debated by the social sciences. By contrast, most canonical figures in the history of analytic philosophy have written very little, if anything, on the topic. One of the few exceptional discussions of the concept of labour and its history can be found in Bertrand Russell’s popular work from the 1930s, and more specifically his well-known essay ‘In Praise of Idleness’. In the essay, Russell attempts a spirited defence of a (...)
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  31. Aesthetics Naturalised: Schlick on the Evolution of Beauty and Art.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 105 (3):470-498.
    In his earliest philosophical work, Moritz Schlick developed a proposal for rendering aesthetics into a field of empirical science. His 1908 book Lebensweisheit developed an evolutionary account of the emergence of both scientific knowledge and aesthetic feelings from play. This constitutes the framework of Schlick’s evolutionary psychological methodology for examining the origins of the aesthetic feeling of the beautiful he proposed in 1909. He defends his methodology by objecting to both experimental psychological and Darwinian reductionist accounts of aesthetics. Having countered (...)
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  32. Video Games, Violence, and the Ethics of Fantasy: Killing Time.Christopher Bartel - 2020 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Is it ever morally wrong to enjoy fantasizing about immoral things? Many video games allow players to commit numerous violent and immoral acts. But, should players worry about the morality of their virtual actions? A common argument is that games offer merely the virtual representation of violence. No one is actually harmed by committing a violent act in a game. So, it cannot be morally wrong to perform such acts. While this is an intuitive argument, it does not resolve the (...)
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  33. Virtual Pet: Trends of Development.Daria Bylieva, Nadezhda Almazova, Victoria Lobatyuk & Anna Rubtsova - 2020 - Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 1114:545-554.
    Information technologies are fundamentally changing modern society. Almost any human activity, including the caring for a pet, is acquiring new formats related to communication in the virtual space. The authors analyzed such a phenomenon as a virtual pet that has been developing since the early 90s of the 20th century on the basis of more than 100 different virtual pet modifications. The most popular among users and purchased more than 1 million times a year around the world are examined in (...)
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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. Individuating games.Michael Ridge - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8823-8850.
    Games, which philosophers commonly invoke as models for diverse phenomena, are plausibly understood in terms of rules and goals, but this gives rise to two puzzles. The first concerns the identity of a single game over time. Intuitively one and the same game can undergo a change in rules, as when the rules of chess were modified so that a pawn could be moved two squares forward on its first move. Yet if games are individuated in terms of their constitutive (...)
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  39. Ethik des Computerspielens: Eine Grundlegung.Samuel Ulbricht - 2020 - Heidelberg, Deutschland: Springer Berlin - J.B. Metzler.
    Trotz der steigenden Zahl an Computerspielern weltweit markiert die moralische Einordnung von Computerspielhandlungen ein bislang ungelöstes Rätsel der philosophischen Ethik. Angesichts der Brisanz der Thematik im Alltag (zu sehen an der ‚Killerspiel-Debatte‘) ist augenfällig, dass es einer differenzierten fachlichen Klärung des Phänomens bedarf: Kann das Spielen von Computerspielen unmoralisch sein? -/- Zur Beantwortung dieser Frage erörtert der Autor zunächst, was wir überhaupt tun, wenn wir Computerspiele spielen: Über welche Art von Handlung sprechen wir? Im zweiten Schritt erfolgt eine moralische Einordnung, (...)
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  40. Me and My Avatar: Player-Character as Fictional Proxy.Matt Carlson & Logan Taylor - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Games 1.
    Players of videogames describe their gameplay in the first person, e.g. “I took cover behind a barricade.” Such descriptions of gameplay experiences are commonplace, but also puzzling because players are actually just pushing buttons, not engaging in the activities described by their first-person reports. According to a view defended by Robson and Meskin (2016), which we call the fictional identity view, this puzzle is solved by claiming that the player is fictionally identical with the player character. Hence, on this view, (...)
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  41. On the Japanese Translation of Bernard Suits, The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia.Shigeki Kawatani & Takahiro Yamada - 2019 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (3-4):471-476.
    ABSTRACTThe Japanese translation of Bernard Suits's The Grasshopper was published in 2015. We report in this article the background of the translation, the way our project was operated, some notable difficulties we had and the impact that our translation has had so far. The description of the difficulties with translation touches upon how we interpreted the terms ‘lusory’ and ‘prelusory’. This article also includes an appendix describing the history of how the word ‘grasshopper’ has been translated into Japanese.
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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. The Forms and Fluidity of Game Play.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - In Games, Sports, and Play: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 54-73.
    Are games essentially a form of make-believe, or essentially an act of struggling against obstacles? There have been several attempts to reduce one of these accounts to the other. Kendall Walton has argued for the primacy of the make-believe account of games. Even when we are struggling against obstacles in games, says Walton, we are engaged in a form of make-believe: we are making believe that these lines are real obstacles, that these points really matter. Bernard Suits has argued for (...)
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  45. "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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  46. Ontology and Transmedial Games.Christopher Bartel - 2018 - In Jon Robson & Grant Tavinor (eds.), The Aesthetics of Videogames. New York, NY, USA: pp. 9-23.
    Some theorists claim that games are “transmedial”, meaning that the same game can be played in different media. It is unclear, however, what are the limits of transmedial games. Are all games in-principle transmedial, or only some? One suggestion offered by Jesper Juul is that, if games are understood as sets of rules, then a game is transmedial if its rules can be either implemented or adapted into some new media. I argue against this view on the grounds that the (...)
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  47. Game Spirituality: How Games Tell Us More than We Might Think.Chad Carlson - 2018 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 12 (1):81-93.
    While we often see games as less serious or at least less transcendental than religion there is reason to believe that games can evoke similarly meaningful narratives that allow us to learn a great deal about ourselves and our world. And games do so often using the same symbolic and metaphorical mechanisms that generate meaning in religious experience. In this paper, I explore some of the ways in which game myths—the myths created from and through games—generate meaning in our lives. (...)
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  48. BOGOST, IAN. Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. New York: Basic Books, 2016, xiv + 267 pp., $26.99 cloth. [REVIEW]Casey Haskins - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (1):123-126.
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  49. When Life Becomes a Game: A Moral Lesson from Søren Kierkegaard and Bernard Suits.Daniel M. Johnson - 2018 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (3-4):419-431.
    ABSTRACTHidden among the many fascinating things that Bernard Suits says in his classic The Grasshopper is a passing observation he makes about one of the works of Søren Kierkegaard, the Seducer’s...
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  50. 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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