Resolving the gamer's dilemma

TitleResolving the gamer's dilemma
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBartel, C
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Volume14
Issue1
Pagination11-16
Date Published2012
Publication Languageeng
AbstractMorgan 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.
DOI10.1007/s10676-011-9280-8

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