Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Video games are a specific kind of virtual world which many engage with on a daily basis; as such, we cannot ignore the values they embody. In this paper I argue that it is possible to cause moral harm or benefit within a video game, specifically by drawing attention to the nature of the choices both players and designers make. I discuss ways in which games attempt to represent morality, arguing that while flawed, even games with seemingly superficial devices such as morality meters can attempt to promote moral reflection. Ultimately, I argue that the moral status of the actions depends on the effects of those actions on the player herself; if those actions make us less ethical then the actions are wrong. Unfortunately, it is not clear to me that players are always in a position to tell whether this is the case.
Neely, Erica. “The Ethics of Choice in Single-Player Video Games.” In D. Berkich and M. V. d’Alfonso (Eds.) On the Cognitive, Ethical, and Scientific Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence: Themes from IACAP 2016. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-01800-9 (2019).