Ethics and Information Technology 14 (1):11-16 (2012)

Authors
Christopher Bartel
Appalachian State University
Abstract
Morgan Luck raises a potentially troubling problem for gamers who enjoy video games that allow the player to commit acts of virtual murder. The problem simply is that the arguments typically advanced to defend virtual murder in video games would appear to also support video games that allowed gamers to commit acts of virtual paedophilia. Luck’s arguments are persuasive, however, there is one line of argument that he does not consider, which may provide the relevant distinction: as virtual paedophilia involves the depiction of sexual acts involving children, it is therefore an instance of child pornography. I argue that virtual paedophilia involves the depiction of sexual acts involving children, which amounts to child pornography. I then draw on arguments to show that child pornography is morally objectionable. Finally, depictions of virtual murder are not instances of pornography, and so are not morally objectionable for this reason. So, there is a relevant moral distinction to draw between virtual murder and virtual paedophilia that is able to justify the former but not the latter.
Keywords Computer games   Paedophilia   Pornography   Virtual murder
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-011-9280-8
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References found in this work BETA

Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures.Jerrold Levinson - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):228-240.
What is Pornography?Michael C. Rea - 2001 - Noûs 35 (1):118–145.
Virtual Child Pornography: The Eroticization of Inequality.Neil Levy - 2002 - Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):319-323.
No Plaything: Ethical Issues Concerning Child-Pornography.Peter J. King - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):327-345.

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Citations of this work BETA

A New Solution to the Gamer’s Dilemma.Rami Ali - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):267-274.
Philosophy of Games.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12426.
How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
Pornography, Ethics, and Video Games.Stephanie L. Patridge - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (1):25-34.
Is It Distinctively Wrong to Simulate Doing Wrong?John Tillson - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (3):205-217.

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