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Killing machines

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Gregory, TE (2012) Killing machines. Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to address the question of whether the actions a player performs within video games can be considered to matter in a moral sense. Rather than basing my approach upon the possible influence that violent behaviour in video games may have upon the player’s behaviour, my focus in this thesis is restricted to considering the actions the player takes within the game entirely on their own merits, centring around the idea that although the situation encountered within a simulation is not real, the actions the player performs can still be considered as meaningful. I first consider the responses that the normative theories of Consequentialism, Deontology and Virtue Ethics have to actions taken within video games. Having established that the first two theories are primarily concerned with entities that possess moral standing, I turn to examining the reasons why video-game entities appear to lack this moral standing. To do this, I consider the status of video-game entities in light of the fact they are not real, before turning to an examination of the player ceding responsibility for their moral decisions to the expectations of the game-world. I conclude from this examination that there is little ability to justify classifying video-game entities as entities deserving of moral standing on their own merits. Finally, I examine the reasons based in virtue ethics as to why a player should treat video-game entities as if they did have moral standing, concluding that a player is able to use the game as an opportunity to practice their own sense of morality.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Keywords: videogames, morality, ethics, simulation
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Copyright 2012 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2012 05:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:06
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