Achievement play

Published 2022-04-23.

In the framework presented C. Thi Nguyen in his book Games: Agency as Art, achievement play is a mode of game-playing in which we play for the sake of winning. We might be motivated by the satisfaction of winning in itself, in which case we’re engaged in intrinsic achievement play. Or we might be motivated by something that results from winning, like money or fame, in which case we’re engaged in instrumental achievement play.

Notably, in achievement play, the goal of the game and the purpose for playing it are aligned: you aim to win, and winning is what you care about. Contrast with striving play.


Nguyen, C. Thi. Games: Agency as Art (p. 8). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

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