Friday, July 9, 2021

92 - The Ethics of Virtual Worlds

Are virtual worlds free from the ethical rules of ordinary life? Do they generate their own ethical codes? How do gamers and game designers address these issues? These are the questions that I explore in this episode with my guest Lucy Amelia Sparrow. Lucy is a PhD Candidate in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on ethics and multiplayer digital games, with other interests in virtual reality and hybrid boardgames. Lucy is a tutor in game design and an academic editor, and has held a number of research and teaching positions at universities across Hong Kong and Australia.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here)

Show Notes

Topics discussed include:

  • Are virtual worlds amoral? Do we value them for their freedom from ordinary moral rules?
  • Is there an important distinction between virtual reality and games?
  • Do games generate their own internal ethics?
  • How prevalent are unwanted digitally enacted sexual interactions?
  • How do gamers respond to such interactions? Do they take them seriously?
  • How can game designers address this problem?
  • Do gamers tolerate immoral actions more than the norm?
  • Can there be a productive form of distrust in video game design?

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