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  1. Are You (Relevantly) Experienced? A Moral Argument for Video Games.Amanda Cawston & Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - In Aidan Thompson, Laura D'Olimpio & Panos Paris (eds.), Educating Character Through the Arts. London: Routledge.
    Many have offered moral objections to video games, with various critics contending that they depict and promote morally dubious attitudes and behaviour. However, few have offered moral arguments in favour of video games. In this chapter, we develop one such positive moral argument. Specifically, we argue that video games offer one of the only morally acceptable methods for acquiring some ethical knowledge. Consequently, we have (defeasible) moral reasons for creating, distributing, and playing certain morally educating video games.
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  • Information Technology and Moral Values.John Sullins - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Robotification & Ethical Cleansing.Marco Nørskov - 2022 - AI and Society 37 (2):425-441.
    Robotics is currently not only a cutting-edge research area, but is potentially disruptive to all domains of our lives—for better and worse. While legislation is struggling to keep pace with the development of these new artifacts, our intellectual limitations and physical laws seem to present the only hard demarcation lines, when it comes to state-of-the-art R&D. To better understand the possible implications, the paper at hand critically investigates underlying processes and structures of robotics in the context of Heidegger’s and Nishitani’s (...)
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  • May Kantians Commit Virtual Killings That Affect No Other Persons?Tobias Flattery - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (4):751-762.
    Are acts of violence performed in virtual environments ever morally wrong, even when no other persons are affected? While some such acts surely reflect deficient moral character, I focus on the moral rightness or wrongness of acts. Typically it’s thought that, on Kant’s moral theory, an act of virtual violence is morally wrong (i.e., violate the Categorical Imperative) only if the act mistreats another person. But I argue that, on Kant’s moral theory, some acts of virtual violence can be morally (...)
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  • Getting 'Virtual' Wrongs Right.Robert Francis John Seddon - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (1):1-11.
    Whilst some philosophical progress has been made on the ethical evaluation of playing video games, the exact subject matter of this enquiry remains surprisingly opaque. ‘Virtual murder’, simulation, representation and more are found in a literature yet to settle into a tested and cohesive terminology. Querying the language of the virtual in particular, I suggest that it is at once inexplicit and laden with presuppositions potentially liable to hinder anyone aiming to construct general philosophical claims about an ethics of gameplay, (...)
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  • Is It Distinctively Wrong to Simulate Doing Wrong?John Tillson - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (3):205-217.
    This paper is concerned with whether there is a moral difference between simulating wrongdoing and consuming non-simulatory representations of wrongdoing. I argue that simulating wrongdoing is (as such) a pro tanto wrong whose wrongness does not tarnish other cases of consuming representations of wrongdoing. While simulating wrongdoing (as such) constitutes a disrespectful act, consuming representations of wrongdoing (as such) does not. I aim to motivate this view in part by bringing a number of intuitive moral judgements into reflective equilibrium, and (...)
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  • The Amoralist Challenge to Gaming and the Gamer’s Moral Obligation.Sebastian Ostritsch - 2017 - Ethics and Information Technology 19 (2):117-128.
    According to the amoralist, computer games cannot be subject to moral evaluation because morality applies to reality only, and games are not real but “just games”. This challenges our everyday moralist intuition that some games are to be met with moral criticism. I discuss and reject the two most common answers to the amoralist challenge and argue that the amoralist is right in claiming that there is nothing intrinsically wrong in simply playing a game. I go on to argue for (...)
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  • Value, Violence, and the Ethics of Gaming.Michael Goerger - 2017 - Ethics and Information Technology 19 (2):95-105.
    I argue for two theses. First, many arguments against violent gaming rely on what I call the contamination thesis, drawing their conclusions by claiming that violent gaming contaminates real world interactions. I argue that this thesis is empirically and philosophically problematic. Second, I argue that rejecting the contamination thesis does not entail that all video games are morally unobjectionable. The violence within a game can be evaluated in terms of the values the game cultivates, reinforces, denigrates, or disrespects. Games which (...)
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  • Violent Video Games and Morality: A Meta-Ethical Approach.Garry Young - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):311-321.
    This paper considers what it is about violent video games that leads one reasonably minded person to declare “That is immoral” while another denies it. Three interpretations of video game content are discussed: reductionist, narrow, and broad. It is argued that a broad interpretation is required for a moral objection to be justified. It is further argued that understanding the meaning of moral utterances—like “x is immoral”—is important to an understanding of why there is a lack of moral consensus when (...)
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  • Video Games and Ethics.Monique Wonderly - 2018 - In Joseph C. Pitt & Ashley Shew (eds.), Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 29-41.
    Historically, video games featuring content perceived as excessively violent have drawn moral criticism from an indignant (and sometimes, morally outraged) public. Defenders of violent video games have insisted that such criticisms are unwarranted, as committing acts of virtual violence against computer-controlled characters – no matter how heinous or cruel those actions would be if performed in real life – harm no actual people. In this paper, I present and critically analyze key aspects of this debate. I argue that while many (...)
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  • Splintering the Gamer’s Dilemma: Moral Intuitions, Motivational Assumptions, and Action Prototypes.Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (1):93-102.
    The gamer’s dilemma :31–36, 2009) asks whether any ethical features distinguish virtual pedophilia, which is generally considered impermissible, from virtual murder, which is generally considered permissible. If not, this equivalence seems to force one of two conclusions: either both virtual pedophilia and virtual murder are permissible, or both virtual pedophilia and virtual murder are impermissible. In this article, I attempt, first, to explain the psychological basis of the dilemma. I argue that the two different action types picked out by “virtual (...)
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  • The “Digital Animal Intuition:” the Ethics of Violence Against Animals in Video Games.Simon Coghlan & Lucy Sparrow - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):215-224.
    Video game players sometimes give voice to an “intuition” that violently harming nonhuman animals in video games is particularly ethically troubling. However, the moral issue of violence against nonhuman animals in video games has received scant philosophical attention, especially compared to the ethics of violence against humans in video games. This paper argues that the seemingly counterintuitive belief that digital animal violence is in general more ethically problematic than digital human violence is likely to be correct. Much video game violence (...)
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  • Virtual Action.Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):317-330.
    In the debate about actions in virtual environments two interdependent types of question have been pondered: What is a person doing who acts in a virtual environment? Second, can virtual actions be evaluated morally? These questions have been discussed using examples from morally dubious computer games, which seem to revel in atrocities. The examples were introduced using the terminology of “virtual murder” “virtual rape” and “virtual pedophilia”. The terminological choice had a lasting impact on the debate, on the way action (...)
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  • Enacting Taboos as a Means to an End; but What End? On the Morality of Motivations for Child Murder and Paedophilia Within Gamespace.Garry Young - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (1):13-23.
    Video games are currently available which permit the virtual murder of children. No such games are presently available which permit virtual paedophilia. Does this disparity reflect a morally justifiable position? Focusing solely on different player motivations, I contrast two version of a fictitious game—one permitting the virtual murder of children, the other virtual paedophilia—in order to establish whether the selective prohibition of one activity over the other can be morally justified based on player motivation alone. I conclude that it cannot, (...)
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  • "Shining Lights, Even in Death": What Metal Gear Can Teach Us About Morality (Master's Thesis).Ryan Wasser - 2019 - Dissertation, West Chester University
    Morality has always been a pressing issue in video game scholarship, but became more contentious after “realistic” violence in games became possible. However, few studies concern themselves with how players experience moral dilemmas in games, choosing instead to focus on the way games affect postplay behavior. In my thesis I discuss the moral choices players encounter in the Metal Gear series of games; then, I analyze and compare the responses of players with and without martial career experiences. My argument is (...)
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  • A Meta-Ethical Approach to Single-Player Gamespace: Introducing Constructive Ecumenical Expressivism as a Means of Explaining Why Moral Consensus is Not Forthcoming.Garry Young - 2014 - Ethics and Information Technology 16 (2):91-102.
    The morality of virtual representations and the enactment of prohibited activities within single-player gamespace continues to be debated and, to date, a consensus is not forthcoming. Various moral arguments have been presented to support the moral prohibition of virtual enactments, but their applicability to gamespace is questioned. In this paper, I adopt a meta-ethical approach to moral utterances about virtual representations, and ask what it means when one declares that a virtual interaction ‘is morally wrong’. In response, I present constructive (...)
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