The Ethics of Computer Games

MIT Press (2011)
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Abstract

Despite the emergence of computer games as a dominant cultural industry, we know little or nothing about the ethics of computer games. Considerations of the morality of computer games seldom go beyond intermittent portrayals of them in the mass media as training devices for teenage serial killers. In this first scholarly exploration of the subject, Miguel Sicart addresses broader issues about the ethics of games, the ethics of playing the games, and the ethical responsibilities of game designers. He argues that computer games are ethical objects, that computer game players are ethical agents, and that the ethics of computer games should be seen as a complex network of responsibilities and moral duties. Players should not be considered passive amoral creatures; they reflect, relate, and create with ethical minds. The games they play are ethical systems, with rules that create gameworlds with values at play. Drawing on concepts from philosophy and game studies, Sicart proposes a framework for analyzing the ethics of computer games as both designed objects and player experiences. After presenting his core theoretical arguments and offering a general theory for understanding computer game ethics, Sicart offers case studies examining single-player games, multiplayer games, and online gameworlds from an ethical perspective. He explores issues raised by unethical content in computer games and its possible effect on players and offers a synthesis of design theory and ethics that could be used as both analytical tool and inspiration in the creation of ethical gameplay

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Citations of this work

The Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - 2023 - In Carissa Véliz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Philosophy of games.C. Thi Nguyen - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12426.
Robots, rape, and representation.Robert Sparrow - 2017 - International Journal of Social Robotics 9 (4):465-477.
The incorrigible social meaning of video game imagery.Stephanie Patridge - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (4):303-312.
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