This paper has two main parts to it. First, it is an attempt to clarify certain metaphysical issues regarding play. Play scholars from any number of academic disciplines have created a vast body of literature on the topic that seems overwhelming. Therefore, I offer descriptions of four characteristics of play that seem most experientially prominent and most indicative of the many play descriptors that previous authors have used. Second, I make axiological claims that follow from the metaphysical descriptions. I argue (...) against many previous authors, as I assert that play is not different in kind from our normal workaday lives but instead is only different by degree. Play is a deeper engagement with the world than that which we normally experience. (shrink)
Fantasy sports have become a major sector of our sport industry. With millions of participants worldwide and billions of dollars generated, fantasy sports have become a fixed part of our sport spectatorship. However, this prevalence has come without much intellectual investigation. Therefore, in this paper I discuss the metaphysics and ethics of fantasy sports. After providing arguments for the consistency of fantasy sports with prominent descriptions of play and games, I compare fantasy sports to other genres of play and games (...) ? sports, card games, ?cybersports?, and spectatorship. After this juxtaposition, I delineate how fantasy sports are different from their real sport correlates. Fantasy sports are second-order games that are parasites of their real-sport counterparts. The differences between fantasy and real sports change our collective cultural views of the correlating real sports. While much good comes from the popular participation in fantasy sports, there are also drawbacks. That is, while fantasy sports participants tend to be more engaged spectators of sports, they also tend to only focus on particular, sensationalized aspects of the sports to which their fantasy ownership correlates. (shrink)
This book examines influential conceptions of sport and then analyses the interplay of challenging borderline cases with the standard definitions of sport. It is meant to inspire more thought and debate on just what sport is, how it relates to other activities and human endeavors, and what we can learn about ourselves by studying sport.
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. (...) People experience myths in games very similarly to how they might in religion. I first explain what myth means in contemporary literature and then show how the very make up of games opens them to a mythical reality. I highlight two ways in particular. I will argue that the inefficiencies within games promote a deep engagement with the world, and this gratuitous nature provides a system for creating myths and actualizing mythical potential. (shrink)