Games are not just idle time-wasters; nor are they simply another type of fiction. They are a unique form of art – an art that works in the medium of agency itself. A game designer shapes an alternate self for the player. The game tells a player what to care about, in terms of the victory conditions and points. And it tells a player what abilities they can use to achieve that goal. Games are a way of communicating different kinds of agency. And a collection of games serves as a library of agencies, for players to explore.
C. Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Utah. He write about trust, art, games, and communities. He is interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value. He used to be a food writer.