Ethics and Information Technology 20 (3):205-217 (2018)

John Tillson
Liverpool Hope University
This paper is concerned with whether there is a moral difference between simulating wrongdoing and consuming non-simulatory representations of wrongdoing. I argue that simulating wrongdoing is (as such) a pro tanto wrong whose wrongness does not tarnish other cases of consuming representations of wrongdoing. While simulating wrongdoing (as such) constitutes a disrespectful act, consuming representations of wrongdoing (as such) does not. I aim to motivate this view in part by bringing a number of intuitive moral judgements into reflective equilibrium, and in part by describing the case of a character that I call The Devious Super Geek who simulates wrong to particular people that he knows personally. I build bridging cases from the case of the Devious Super Geek to capture games in which one simulates wrong to imaginary members of extant, morally salient categories. The surprising conclusions that we are led to include not just that simulated wrongdoing is pro tanto wrong, but that simulated Just killing is pro tanto wrong, and also that the simulated killing of zombies and aliens is also pro tanto wrong. Finally, I describe how I propose to handle some potential objections and attempt to weigh the pro tanto wrong identified in the paper against some countervailing considerations in some all things considered judgements.
Keywords the gamer's dilemma  simulation  wrongdoing  reflective equilibrium  videogames  fiction
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-018-9463-7
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
Virtual Action.Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):317-330.
What Does the Gamer Do?Rebecca Davnall - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):225-237.

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