The incorrigible social meaning of video game imagery

Ethics and Information Technology 13 (4):303-312 (2010)

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Abstract
In this paper, I consider a particular amoralist challenge against those who would morally criticize our single-player video play, viz., “come on, it’s only a game!” The amoralist challenge with which I engage gains strength from two facts: the activities to which the amoralist lays claim are only those that do not involve interactions with other rational or sentient creatures, and the amoralist concedes that there may be extrinsic, consequentialist considerations that support legitimate moral criticisms. I argue that the amoralist is mistaken and that there are non-consequentialist resources for morally evaluating our single-player game play. On my view, some video games contain details that anyone who has a proper understanding of and is properly sensitive to features of a shared moral reality will see as having an incorrigible social meaning that targets groups of individuals, e.g., women and minorities. I offer arguments to support the claim that there are such incorrigible social meanings and that they constrain the imaginative world so that challenges like “it’s only a game” lose their credibility. I also argue that our responses to such meanings bear on evaluations of our character, and in light of this fact video game designers have a duty to understand and work against the meanings of such imagery
Keywords Aesthetics   Applied ethics   Ethics   Gender   Race   Video games   Virtual pedophilia
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Reprint years 2011
DOI 10.1007/s10676-010-9250-6
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References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
The Ethics of Representation and Action in Virtual Reality.Philip Brey - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1):5-14.
Is It Wrong to Play Violent Video Games?McCormick Matt - 2001 - Ethics and Information Technology 3 (4):277–287.

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Citations of this work BETA

Cultural Appropriation and the Intimacy of Groups.C. Thi Nguyen & Matthew Strohl - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):981-1002.
Philosophy of Games.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12426.
Video Games and Ethics.Monique Wonderly - 2017 - In Joseph C. Pitt & Ashley Shew (eds.), Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology. New York, USA: Routledge.
A New Solution to the Gamer’s Dilemma.Rami Ali - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):267-274.

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