Games: Agency as Art


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

C. Thi Nguyen as of July 2020 is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. His research focuses on how social structures and technology can shape our rationality and our agency. He has published on trust, expertise, group agency, community art, cultural appropriation, aesthetic value, echo chambers, moral outrage porn, and games. He received his PhD from UCLA. Once, he was a food writer for the Los Angeles Times. He tweets at @add_hawk.


This book is a total joy to read. Thi Nguyen's energy radiates from every page -- the prose is truly delightful, with all sorts of poetic turns of phrase enlivening the arguments and a whole world of games vibrantly described in rich detail. Indeed, if you're sceptical that games could be art, it may be because your game playing is limited to the likes of chess and gin rummy, and you are totally unaware, as I was until reading this book, of the incredible richness of the world of games. -- Gwen Bradford, Mind Association

Nguyen's stunning book is philosophically deep, playful and incredibly readable. It changed how I think about games and art and (ultimately) life. -- Aaron Meskin, Professor and Head of Philosophy, University of Georgia

Nguyen's book is simultaneously a field-defining treatment of the aesthetics of games, a deep (and very cool) move in ethics and theory of agency, and the strongest, mostexciting work I've seen on practical reasoning since the mid-2000s -- Elijah Millgram, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah

Nguyen (philosophy, Univ. of Utah) analyzes games as aesthetic creations engaging the art of agency, whose ultimate higher-order goals include the development of a library of agencies--the discovery (or creation) and practice of modes of achieving goals in general. Despite the obvious (and acknowledged) debt to Bernard Suits's The Grasshopper (1978), this is no mere echo or defense of Suits's view of play, but rather a sophisticated and updated elaboration thereof, with many carefully chosen examples to support a variety of nuanced theses. ... This work significantly advances the philosophy of games, and will be a rewarding read for anyone interested in the other fields mentioned above, regardless of their level of experience. -- S. E. Forschler, CHOICE