Philosophical Review 128 (4):423-462 (2019)

Authors
C. Thi Nguyen
University of Utah
Abstract
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. Game-playing, then, illuminates a distinctive human capacity. We can take on ends temporarily for the sake of the experience of pursuing them. Game play shows that our agency is significantly more modular and more fluid than we might have thought. It also demonstrates our capacity to take on an inverted motivational structure. Sometimes we can take on an end for the sake of the activity of pursuing that end.
Keywords Games  Practical reason  agency  video games  sport  Aesthetics  philosophy of games  desire  autonomy  motivation
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-7697863
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1127-1156.
Virtual Action.Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology.
General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
Illusory attitudes and the playful stoic.Michael Ridge - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-26.

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