C Thi Nguyen on games philosophy, agency, real world gamification and what drinking games tell you about humanity


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I chat with C. Thi Nguyen who used to be a food writer and is now a philosophy professor at University of Utah. Thi thinks about trust, art, games, and communities.

We discuss his first book, Games: Agency as Art. The book is about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. We chat about the difference between play and games and wider games philosophy.

Thi worries about the problems on trusting experts, if oneself is not an expert and how none of us are experts in most domains. We discuss making tea, process art and how we should be thinking about making food. Fascinating topics across food and philosophy.

Transcript and links available here. Contents and Youtube links below.

06:13 Thi on Gamification

12:15 Thi on Trust and what to be worried about a gamified system

16:25 Thi on philosophy of expertise and the challenge of finding experts to trust

20:58 Thi on board games recommendations

26:05 Is “play” better or “games” better? Thi answers on how games are different from play.

31:20 The importance of drinking games

34:13 The four types of games

36:35 How constraints are useful

45:47 What is process art

50:02 Games and cooking

57:39 How to make tea

1:02:16 Thi on creative productivity (don't kill the weird ideas)

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