In-Game Ethical Explorations Essay

In-Game Ethical Explorations Essay

Length: 1220 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

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Ethics help us every day to determine what is “right” and “wrong” because they are the values of conduct imposed upon an individual by a larger group, usually society. Ethics has also been referred to as moral philosophy. Ethics and morality have a tendency to be confused and used interchangeably, but there is an important difference that must be noted. Morals define personal character, and therefore are usually unchanged in an individual, while various groups might dictate different ethics.
With the emergence of technology in the 21st century, the study of ethics, specifically applied ethics, has increased in the number of relevant subjects. A common example is the case of downloading music illegally. Evidently, it is a crime, but because of a lack of persecution for those who participate in this form of theft, the perception of it is vastly different compared to someone who will physically shoplift an item. Ethics becomes even more complicated when laws are not applicable to the given situation. This gives an opportunity for ethical and moral exploration in an increasingly popular field of technology: video games.
Now fully integrated into Western culture, video games are no longer targeted for children only. Young adults have become a growing demographic in the video game world and therefore the demand for more sophisticated games has increased. These gamers are not only looking to have fun, but also for a distraction from reality and an investigation in multiple ethical dilemmas. Historically speaking, with a moderately short life, video games traditionally have not been known to include ethics as a major component to a game, until recently. More games now than ever have content that explores ethics, such as the will to ...

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...– as toxic” and the lack of consequences for the simulated crimes can be toxic as well (Ludlow and Wallace 92). Gaming companies like EA, by not enforcing more strict rules and not punishing those that break them, are basically saying: “The law doesn’t apply unless we feel like enforcing it. If we don’t, there is no law, and anything goes.” The anarchy-like attitude that this message is sending can be dangerous to both the morals of the players committing the crimes and to the business of the game itself, although the popularity of the games have not decreased just yet.

Works Cited

Ludlow, Peter, and Mark Wallace. The Second Life Herald: The virtual tabloid that witnessed the dawn of the Metaverse. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2007. 89-107. Print.
Cogburn, Jon, and Mark Silcox. Philosophy Through Video Games. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009. 73-91. Print

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