Crashing a virtual funeral: morality in MMORPGs

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 7 (4):280-285 (2009)
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Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to outline a case where people's intuitions regarding the ethical status of an action performed in a massively multiplayer online role‐playing game are divided, and provide an argument to resolve this division.Design/methodology/approachThis paper takes a philosophical approach, from the analytical tradition. It details the main arguments for each side and provides counter‐arguments in order to indicate the salient points.FindingsThe paper argues that, of the three arguments for the morality of particular virtual action outlined in this paper, none are satisfactory. An argument for the immorality of the action in questions based upon the fairness/sportsmanship distinction is offered.Originality/valueThe development of case‐based ethical studies, which draw upon current and controversial events within popular virtual environments, are useful in the construction of a deeper understanding of moral action within such spaces.

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Morgan Luck
Charles Sturt University

References found in this work

Virtual child pornography: The eroticization of inequality.Neil Levy - 2002 - Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):319-323.
Real wrongs in virtual communities.Thomas M. Powers - 2003 - Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):191-198.

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