In-Game Ethical Explorations Essay

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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
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The first source of information is a book named Philosophy Through Video Games, specifically a chapter entitled “Games and God’s Goodness (World-Builder and Tycoon Games). Like the title suggests, the subject of the chapter is a genre of games referred to as world-builder games, or by others as “God games” because of the players ability to imitate God-like properties such as “omnipotence (all-powerfulness), all-knowingness and omnibenevolence (all-goodness)” (Cogburn and Silcox 75). The ethical issues that this genre of games has shed light on are primarily focused on the aspect of religion. Players and programmers alike have questioned the ethical systems implicit in god games such as Civilization, SimCity, and Age of Empires because the power that is provided by these types of games have introduced several moral quandaries (Cogburn and Silcox 73). The chapter goes on to discuss the individual games in more detail, explaining the power that is provided in which scenarios. An important question is brought up when discussing this genre of games and it is: “How do all of the powers possessed by the player in world-builder games compare to the powers traditionally attributed to God in the tradition of Western monotheism?” (Cogburn and Silcox 75). This question is a very justified one because the power provided by these games can often disable the ability to “distinguish the God of

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