Video Games: Friends or Foes
Individual Research Paper
JRSB 311: Ethics Fundamentals
March 22, 2013
Table of Contents
Introduction to modern games 1
The history of gaming 2
Early 1990’s 3
Modern gaming 4
Influence of violent games 5
Other Factors 6
Ethics Point of View 9
Government Policy 10
Introduction to modern games
Everyone loves playing games, whether it is a two year old or a 20 year old; it is the kind of game they play is different. The younger generation has turned towards playing video games; with every generation of new graphics ...view middle of the document...
In this example the developer did create a path for the game character to follow, although the open world concept allows players to virtually do anything, so the intention of the game might be to save someone using these abilities but a player might use these abilities to tap into someone’s bank and steal funds.
Despite the emergence of computer games as a dominant culture industry, we know little or nothing about the ethics of video games. These realistic looking games have two sides just like anything else, it could be means of entertainment but it could also train someone to be a serial killer or an assassin. Miguel Sicart argues that video games are ethical objects, that game players are ethical agents, and that the ethics of games should be seen as a complex network of responsibility (The Ethics of Computer Games, 2013).
The history of gaming
Some people believe that the games have only recently taken a violent turn but that is not the case. As a matter of fact the video game industry has been targeted as a source for misleading the youth of tomorrow pretty much since the first game. Here is a quick history lesson on some of the games that has brought the industry where we are today; some may call this the root of ethically questionable gaming.
Death race, originally named pedestrian, the game allowed players to run over ‘Gremlins’, despite looking completely inoffensive compared to modern games; people at that time were outraged by the barbaric behavior of the game (Games – the ethics issue, 2006).
By the middle of the 1980’s home consoles such as the Atari 2600 and NES had been released. The industry had by now seen a crash in profits and experts blamed independent game companies for producing games like Custer’s Revenge, in which a supposed General Custer rapes Native Americans. Fans were disillusioned by poor quality and tasteless games, and sales slumped. To counter this, Nintendo introduced its ‘Seal of Approval’ and game sales picked up again as Nintendo kept 'mature' content from gaining its yes-vote (Games – the ethics issue, 2006).
The early 90’s saw the popularity of beat-em-up games; games like Mortal Combat and Street Fighters were some of the most famous games of that time. People spend hours and hours just to find different combo moves to beat their opponent faster (Games – the ethics issue, 2006).
By 1997, the gaming industry started growing rapidly and it moved into the mainstream. Games like Grand Theft Auto, Postal became popular during this time. In these games the main theme of killing remained but the prospective of the bad guy changed, now it was not like a random killing machine but much more realistic. Far involving and now the games started to have a story line for the first time, from there the gaming industry just went full speed ahead. With the increase in graphical realism and the shift to playing the morally ambiguous bad guy, questions began to be asked in...