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Games: Agency as Art

New York: Oxford University Press (2020)

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  1. 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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  • Agential Layering, the Absurd and the Grind in Game-Playing.Emily Ryall - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):425-435.
    This paper attempts to provide a reflection on Nguyen’s book, Games: Agency as Art. It demonstrates how games provide new ontological spaces and ways of being by focusing on the concept of a...
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  • Phenomenal Experience and the Aesthetics of Agency.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):380-391.
    In his fascinating new book Games: Agency as Art, C. Thi Nguyen claims that games construct and frame forms of human agency in a way that gives rise to a genuine aesthetics of agency.This is no con...
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  • Sport, Games, and the Fluidity of Agency.Jon Pike - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):392-402.
    Thi Nguyen has given us a cracker of a book in Games: Agency as Art, one that sports philosophers amongst others will learn from for many years. One fascinating (but I will argue, pro...
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  • Misaligned Education.Adrian Currie - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):332-343.
    Like every Bachelor of Arts program, the University of Exeter provides a set of reasons to undertake a BA in philosophy aimed at prospective students and their parents. Here1 are two such reasons:F...
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  • Game Play, Wholehearted Engagement, and the Good Life.William J. Morgan - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):356-368.
    One of the many brilliant insights of C. Thi Nguyen’s brilliant book, Games: Agency as Art, is the connection he draws between the distinctive agency of game play and one important feature of a lif...
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  • Games, Motives, and Virtue.Stephanie Patridge - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):369-379.
    In his groundbreaking and fantastic new book, Games: Agency as Art, C. Thi Nguyen asks us to see gameplay, and hence the ‘humorous, the playful, and the ridiculous’, as an important sphe...
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  • Art, Aesthetics, and the Medium: Comments for Nguyen on the Art-Status of Games.Christopher Bartel - 2021 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 48 (3):321-331.
    Nguyen offers a number of profound insights about the nature and value of games. Games are works of art, according to Nguyen, because they offer players aesthetic experiences. Game designers aim to...
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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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  • Aesthetic Agency.Keren Gorodeisky - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. pp. 456-466.
    Until very recently, there has been no discussion of aesthetic agency. This is likely because aesthetics has traditionally focused not on action, but on appreciation, while the standard approach identifies ‘agency’ with the will, and, more specifically, with the capacity for intentional action. In this paper, I argue, first, that this identification is unfortunate since it fails to do justice to the fact that we standardly attribute beliefs, emotions, desires, and other conative and affective attitudes that aren’t formed ‘at will,’ (...)
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  • A New Argument for the Non-Instrumental Value of Truth.Veli Mitova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Many influential philosophers have claimed that truth is valuable, indeed so valuable as to be the ultimate standard of correctness for intellectual activity. Yet most philosophers also think that truth is only instrumentally valuable. These commitments make for a strange pair. One would have thought that an ultimate standard would enjoy more than just instrumental value. This paper develops a new argument for the non-instrumental value of truth: inquiry is non-instrumentally valuable; and truth inherits some of its value from the (...)
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  • The Aesthetic Engagement Theory of Art.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (9):243-268.
    I introduce and explicate a new functionalist account of art, namely that something is an artwork iff the fulfillment of its function by a subject requires that the subject aesthetically engage it. This is the Aesthetic Engagement Theory of art. I show how the Aesthetic Engagement Theory outperforms salient rival theories in terms of extensional adequacy, non-arbitrariness, and ability to account for the distinctive value of art. I also give an account of what it is to aesthetically engage a work (...)
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  • Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Strange Games, Puppy Play and Exhaustive Intelligibility: A Response to Thi Nguyen’s Games: Agency as Art.Alva Noë - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):306-317.
    Thi Nguyen develops the view that games are, at least potentially, works of art that afford players the opportunity to experiment with agency and have aesthetically significant experiences. In this paper, I critically discuss this proposal. You can make art out of games, I argue, but only at the price of making bad games. I explore the significance of this rivalry between games and art.
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  • Defending Games: Reply to Hurka, Kukla and Noë. [REVIEW]C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):317-337.
    I’d like to thank my interlocutors for their generous efforts and attentions. This group of commentators were originally scheduled as a live Author Meets Critics session at the 2020 Pacific APA conference, which was cancelled in the COVID pandemic. I am so glad to have been given a second chance at it.
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  • Sculpted Agency and the Messiness of the Landscape.Quill Rebecca Kukla - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):296-306.
    In Games: Agency as Art, Thi Nguyen has given us a deep and compelling picture of agency as much more layered, volatile, environment-dependent and discontinuous than it appears in most philosophical accounts. Games ‘inscribe … forms of agency into artifactual vessels’.1 1 When we play a game, we take up a form of agency, including a set of motivations, values and goals, which has been artificially provided by the game. Our purpose in playing, in the kinds of gameplay that interest (...)
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  • How Much Are Games Like Art?Thomas Hurka - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):287-296.
    In a series of stimulating writings, C. Thi Nguyen has made novel connections between the theory of art and the theory of games. In ‘Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement’, he argues that we should see the aesthetic judgement of works of art as in important ways like playing a game. And in Games: Agency as Art, he makes the converse argument: that a central feature of game-play, and the source of much of its value, is that it offers aesthetic experiences, in (...)
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  • 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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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
     
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  • The Argument From Extreme Difficulty in Video Games.Aderemi Artis - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (1):64-75.
    Many video games require complex, rapid sequences of skilled bodily movements in order to complete game-world tasks. It is not unreasonable to think that this might interfere with our ability to aesthetically appreciate such video games. I present two versions of this argument from extreme difficulty: a strong version and a weak version. While extant treatments of the aesthetics of video games can be used to rebut the strong version, the weak version remains recalcitrant. I develop a reply to the (...)
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  • Olympians and Vampires - Talent, Practice, and Why Most of Us 'Don't Get It'.Alessandra Buccella - forthcoming - Argumenta:1-11.
    Why do some people become WNBA champions or Olympic gold medalists and others do not? What is ‘special’ about those very few incredibly skilled athletes, and why do they, in particular, get to be special? In this paper, I attempt to make sense of the relationship that there is, in the case of sports champions, between so-called ‘talent’, i.e. natural predisposition for particular physical activities and high-pressure competition, and practice/training. I will articulate what I take to be the ‘mechanism’ that (...)
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  • Does Play Constitute the Good Life? Suits and Aristotle on Autotelicity and Living Well.Francisco Javier Lopez Frías - 2020 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (2):168-182.
    Bernard Suits’ account of play as an autotelic activity has been greatly influential in the philosophy of sport. Suits borrows the notion of ‘autotelicity’ from Aristotle’s ethics, formulating diff...
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  • The Motivational Structure of Appreciation.Servaas van der Berg - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):445-466.
    On a widely held view in aesthetics, appreciation requires disinterested attention. George Dickie famously criticized a version of this view championed by the aesthetic attitude theorists. I revisit his criticisms and extract an overlooked challenge for accounts that seek to characterize appreciative engagement in terms of distinctive motivation: at minimum, the motivational profile such accounts propose must make a difference to how appreciative episodes unfold over time. I then develop a proposal to meet this challenge by drawing an analogy between (...)
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