The gamer’s dilemma: An analysis of the arguments for the moral distinction between virtual murder and virtual paedophilia

Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):31-36 (2009)
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Most people agree that murder is wrong. Yet, within computer games virtual murder scarcely raises an eyebrow. In one respect this is hardly surprising, as no one is actually murdered within a computer game. A virtual murder, some might argue, is no more unethical than taking a pawn in a game of chess. However, if no actual children are abused in acts of virtual paedophilia (life-like simulations of the actual practice), does that mean we should disregard these acts with the same abandon we do virtual murder? In this paper I shall outline several arguments which attempt to permit virtual murder, whilst prohibiting virtual paedophilia



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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.
Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality.Kendall L. Walton & Michael Tanner - 1994 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 68 (1):27-66.
Is it wrong to play violent video games?McCormick Matt - 2001 - Ethics and Information Technology 3 (4):277–287.
The ethics of representation and action in virtual reality.Philip Brey - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1):5-14.
Real wrongs in virtual communities.Thomas M. Powers - 2003 - Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):191-198.

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