“Striving” play is play that is done not for the experience of achieving a particular goal, but for the experience of striving toward that goal. When I sit down to play chess, I don’t particularly care whether I’m going to win; I’m just in it for the pleasure of trying to win.
Contrast with achievement play.
Nguyen, C. (2019). Games and the Art of Agency. Philosophical Review. 128. 10.1215/00318108-7697863.