Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):267-274 (2015)

Rami Ali
Lebanese American University
Luck (2009) argues that gamers face a dilemma when it comes to performing certain virtual acts. Most gamers regularly commit acts of virtual murder, and take these acts to be morally permissible. They are permissible because unlike real murder, no one is harmed in performing them; their only victims are computer-controlled characters, and such characters are not moral patients. What Luck points out is that this justification equally applies to virtual pedophelia, but gamers intuitively think that such acts are not morally permissible. The result is a dilemma: either gamers must reject the intuition that virtual pedophelic acts are impermissible and so accept partaking in such acts, or they must reject the intuition that virtual murder acts are permissible, and so abstain from many (if not most) extant games. While the prevailing solution to this dilemma has been to try and find a morally relevant feature to distinguish the two cases, I argue that a different route should be pursued. It is neither the case that all acts of virtual murder are morally permissible, nor are all acts of virtual pedophelia impermissible. Our intuitions falter and produce this dilemma because they are not sensitive to the different contexts in which games present virtual acts.
Keywords videogames  virtual acts  virtual murder  virtual pedophelia
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-015-9381-x
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References found in this work BETA

Resolving the Gamer’s Dilemma.Christopher Bartel - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (1):11-16.
The Art of Videogames.Grant Tavinor - 2009 - Wiley-Blackwell.
The Incorrigible Social Meaning of Video Game Imagery.Stephanie Patridge - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (4):303-312.
Pornography, Ethics, and Video Games.Stephanie L. Patridge - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (1):25-34.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
Has Ali Dissolved the Gamer’s Dilemma?Morgan Luck - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (3):157-162.
Virtual Action.Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology.

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